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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor
During America’s late nineteenth-century, parlor games were a dominant leisure activity of the upper classes. The ‘Gilded Age,’ as Mark Twain termed it, was characterized by the separation between leisurely wealth and the harsh existence of the underclasses, cleft even wider with the increase of industrial production. This “Book of Games, Parlor Performances and Puzzles” is a reprint of an original 1888 edition that promised the wealthy hours upon hours of diversion from boredom with guessing games, pantomimes, word games, outlined charades, and so on. In its use of traditional European games mixed with American stereotypes, it is a unique look into the temperament of the times.