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Party Entertainment

Entertainments one might find at a party

How a family spent an evening together vs how one might entertain guests was not too dissimilar given the varied choices of entertainment, from physical activities like acting to mind games like charades, one need never suffer boredom. The inside vs outside distinction is loose, as many of these could be inside or outside, especially if one had a long gallery.

Are there any activities you can add to the lists? (So many more possibilities! Keep the lists going!)

For those who wished to host a party, there were choices as to the type, such as a route, a private ball, a musical soiree, a literary soiree, a dinner party, etc.

The soirees were the most popular, but it was important to express what type of soiree you would be hosting so guests could arrive equipped for the evening, such as bringing their favourite book or a poem they’ve written for a literary soiree or bringing their instrument for a musical soiree, as these parties were not solely for guests to be entertained rather for them to perform. Georgian society prized talent, wit, and intellect, thus the soiree was the best way to showcase these.

For any party type, games were the most popular feature, be it word games, card games, board games, or otherwise. These examples are not exclusive, so feel free to add to them:

  • Word games

    • Riddles

    • Charades

    • Rebuses

    • Bouts-Rimees

    • Conundrums

    • Cross questions and crooked answers

    • Short answers

    • Musical magic

    • The aviary

  • Card games

    • Loo

    • Whist

    • Faro

    • Cribbage

    • Piquet

    • Vingt-et-un

    • Ecarte

    • Commerce

  • Board games

    • Chess

    • Checkers

    • Draughts

    • Dice

    • Backgammon

    • Tabula


Some of the best word games are from Rachel Revel’s 1825 book Winter Evening Pastimes or The Merry Maker’s Companion, with examples posted on: English History Authors' Fun and Games on Regency Evenings

Explore these, as well:

Jane Austen's World: Regency Games

Geri Walton: How Regency People Passed Their Time

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