Fox Tossing: And Other Forgotten and Dangerous Sports, Pastimes, and Games

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Simon and Schuster, 2015 M11 10 - 272 pages
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In the spirit of Schott’s Miscellany and The Dangerous Book for Boys, a quirky collection of history’s most bizarre sports and stories of mankind’s most daring and ridiculous recreational pursuits—from baby boxing, to octopus wrestling, and ice tennis.

Have you ever wondered what people did for fun throughout history? Edward Brooke-Hitching began to wonder the same thing while flipping through an eighteenth-century German book on hunting, and found a bygone sport in which German nobles launched foxes into the air. This random discovery of a game that slipped through the mainstream historical cracks led him to wonder: how many other sports have been left out of modern history accounts? Now, Brooke-Hitching shares his hilarious journey to discover the curious recreations contrived by mankind that have long since gone extinct (for good reason).

Compiling more than 100 of the most puzzling, cruel, and ludicrous games that have ever been played, including Aerial Golf, Hidden Hunting, Ski Ballet, Eel Pulling, and many more, Brooke-Hitching chronicles an entertaining romp through forgotten leisurely pastimes that history wanted you to forget—and that you definitely shouldn’t try at home.

An illuminating gift book filled with acerbic humor and charming illustrations, Fox Tossing is sure to be enjoyed by many—and will let you take solace in knowing that at least your grandfather wasn’t the genius who invented “Tortoise Racing,” or any of the other games too stupid, or too harmful to withstand the test of time.
 

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Fox Tossing: And Other Forgotten and Dangerous Sports, Pastimes, and Games

User Review  - Book Verdict

If there are any hidden takeaways in this droll romp through the history of bizarre games and other pastimes, they are that humankind has, from the dawn of time to now, had a low tolerance for boredom ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Baby Boxing
16
BattleBall
31
Bone Skating
46
Flyting
101
Hidden Hunting
116
79
123
Hunting Ye Otter
130
ManBaiting
145
Naumachiae
163
124
176
81
183
Acknowledgments
261
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Edward Brooke-Hitching is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling books The Phantom Atlas (2016), The Golden Atlas (2018), The Sky Atlas (2019), The Madman's Library (2020) and The Devil's Atlas (2021), all of which have been translated into numerous languages; he is also the author of Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling and Other Forgotten Sports (2015). He is a writer for the BBC series QI. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an incurable cartophile, he lives surrounded by dusty heaps of old maps and books in Berkshire. 

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