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Literary Criticism 18th Century

Sporting Cultures, 1650-1850

edited by Daniel O'Quinn & Alexis Tadie

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2018
18th Century, General, 19th Century, Essays
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    Publish Date
    Jan 2018
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    Jan 2018
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In the eighteenth century sport as we know it emerged as a definable social activity. Hunting and other country sports became the source of significant innovations in visual art; racing and boxing generated important subcultures; and sport’s impact on good health permeated medical, historical, and philosophical writings.


Sporting Cultures, 1650–1850 is a collection of essays that charts important developments in the study of sport in the eighteenth century. Editors Daniel O’Quinn and Alexis Tadié have gathered together an array of European and North American scholars to critically examine the educational, political, and medical contexts that separated sports from other physical activities. The volume reveals how the mediation of sporting activities, through match reports, pictures, and players, transcended the field of aristocratic patronage and gave rise to the social and economic forces we now associate with sports.  In Sporting Cultures, 1650–1850 , O’Quinn and Tadié successfully lay the groundwork for future research on the complex intersection of power, pleasure, and representation in sports culture.

About the authors

Daniel O'Quinn is an associate professor in the School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English at the University of Guelph, Ontario.

Daniel O'Quinn's profile page

Alexis Tadié is a professor of English at the Université of Paris, Sorbonne.

Alexis Tadie's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Viewed together, [the essays collected in this book] argue persuasively that by continuing to scrutinize sports in the long eighteenth century, we will enhance our understanding of the period’s most significant social forces and trends."

European Romantic Review, vol 30 no 4

"This collection of essays, edited and introduced by O’Quinn and Tadié, highlights continuities between physical activities of the early modern period and contemporary pursuits…While erudite and useful, this collection is best for upper-division or graduate studies."

Choice Connect October 2018 vol. 56 # 2

"This Olympian volume charts the rise of modern sports in British and French culture over a very long eighteenth century…Individual essays tackle not only specific sports and athletes but athleticism’s place in philosophy, bodily discipline, and medicine."

Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

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