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BIC Excellence Award

Playthings in Early Modernity
Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games

Edited by Allison Levy

Playthings in Early Modernity
Hardback, 352 pages £93.50
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9781580442602
Format: 240mm x 170mm
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Subjects: Cultural and Social Studies, Medieval Institute Publications, Renaissance Studies
Series: Ludic Cultures, 1100-1700

An innovative volume of fifteen interdisciplinary essays at the nexus of material culture, performance studies, and game theory, Playthings in Early Modernity emphasizes the rules of the game(s) as well as the breaking of those rules. Thus, the titular "plaything" is understood as both an object and a person, and play, in the early modern world, is treated not merely as a pastime, a leisurely pursuit, but as a pivotal part of daily life, a strategic psychosocial endeavor.

Introduction: Playing the Field by Allison Levy

Performing Pictures: Parlor Games and Visual Engagement in Ascanio de' Mori's Giuoco piacevole by Kelli Wood

"Mixt" and Matched: Dance Games in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Europe by Emily F. Winerock

Ludic Intermingling/Ludic Discrimination: Women's Card Playing and Visual Proscriptions in Early Modern Europe by Antonella Fenech Kroke

Leonardo da Vinci, Parody, and Pictorial Magic by Chriscinda Henry

Letter Games: Machiavelli and Guicciardini in Carnivalesque Correspondence by Sergius Kodera

The Rules of Passion and Pastime: The Game of Lurch in a Late Renaissance Poem by Manfred Zollinger

"Sportes and Pastimes, done by Number": Mathematical Games in Early Modern England by Jessica Marie Otis

Predictive Play: Wheels of Fortune in the Early Modern Lottery Book by Jessen Kelly

Virtuous Vices: Giuseppe Maria Mitelli's Gambling Prints and the Social Mapping of Leisure and Gender in Post-Tridentine Bologna by Patricia Rocco

Trading and Trick Taking in the Dutch Republic: Pasquin's Wind Cards and the South Sea Bubble by Joyce Goggin

The Problem of Excessive Play: Renaissance Strategies of Ludic Governmentality by Andreas Hermann Fischer

Imaginary Cartographies and Commercial Commodities: Geography and Playing Cards in Early Modern England by Serina Patterson

Land of Elusion: Portuguese Perceptions and the Matter of Play and Gaming in Vijayanagara by Elke Rogersdotter

Visual Frames and Breaking the Rules of the Reconquista: Chess and Alfonso X, el Sabio's Libro de ajedrez, dados, y tablas by Nhora LucĂ­a Serrano

The Prisoners' Dilemma: Strategies and Ruses in the Inquisitorial Jails of Early Modern Cuenca by Patrick J. O'Banion

Allison Levy is an art historian specializing in the visual culture of early modern Italy. She has written and/or edited three previous scholarly books.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 352 pages
 240mm x 170mm
71 b/w illus

BIC Code:
  HIS037020, HIS054000
 Medieval Institute Publications


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