Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Who needs good weather to play tennis?

Real tennis, from which the more commonly known lawn tennis derived, has its origins as far back as the 12th century. Evolving over the centuries from the French jeu de paume (a reference to the earlier sport played without a racquet), to the game we are familiar today, real tennis, or, court tennis as it is sometimes known, was a prominent force in Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries. It was exceedingly popular with Royals in Britain and France, including Henry VIII, and in the late 19th century courts were built in Australia and America.

Real tennis is still played today and of the 47 remaining courts, the Merton court in Oxford is the second oldest in the world.

 A perfect rainy day activity!

Games With The Ball - Tennis , The Court at Lords
R.S. Groom, Wilkinson & Co
Lithograph with hand colour
London: Henry Lea & Co 125, Fleet Street. 1863
Image 165 x 251 mm

A lovely print illustrating real tennis from The Sportsman's Companion by Henry Downes Miles, Esqr

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