The Book of Sports was the royal declaration which sanctioned popular participation in traditional pastimes after church attendance on Sunday. It was denounced by a vociferous opposition who viewed recreation on the Sabbath as the devil's work. Alistair Dougall takes a fresh look at the events surrounding the re-publication of the Book of Sports in 1633 and reassesses the role of Charles I himself in the controversy. He re-examines the cultural battle that emerged as a result of the tension between Sunday observance and traditional revelry and demonstrates how a new form of `sabbatarianism' became the hallmark of the radical Protestants who sought to suppress all Sunday recreations. The book also makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate surrounding the causes of division in English society which led to the outbreak of civil war in 1642.
Alistair Dougall taught for four years at Southampton University before joining the Godolphin School in Salisbury, where he is Head of Sixth Form and teaches History, specialising in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and European History.
Introduction Chronology Glossary `Vain, stupid, profane games.' Medieval attitudes to the playing of sports on the Sabbath and other holy days The Impact of the Break with Rome The Reign of Elizabeth I and the battle over the Lord's Day James I's `dancing book' and the politicisation of `Saint Sabbath' Book of Sports - and the reign of Charles I: From a `pious Statue' to `bloody civil war' Enforcement and Reaction: choosing between the `Commandments of God and Man' Conclusion Appendix: The text of the 1633 - Book of Sports Notes and references Bibliography Index