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The Black-Out Book: 500 Family Games and Puzzles for Wartime Entertainmentby Evelyn August
As war loomed in the winter of 1939 in Great Britain, citizens endured "blackout" regulations, imposed by the government so German planes wouldn't spot targets. In an age without television or computers, it was terribly important to keep children quiet and occupied. "Blackout" books, filled with poems, cartoons, word puzzles, factoids, and other amusements, became sought-after collectibles. Reading this clever little book is like time traveling back to 1939.
Synopses & Reviews
"Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man [sic] can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge a whim." --G.K. Chesterton
Thus begins the Black-Out Book. At once a time capsule and a paean to domestic tranquility, the Black-Out brings together over five hundred games, pensï¿½es, puzzles, jokes, and literary snippets a simpler, yet in many ways more dangerous time than our own. Published during one of the darkest hours of British history, a time when curfews and rationing kept people close to their homes, the book offers insights into a bygone time, but can still delight 70 years on.
While some passages are specific to 1940's England--'A thought for the petrol-rationed motorist' and 'What happened to the shilling?'--others are truly timeless--'Prayers of the Great' (Henry VIII, Raleigh, Plato), and 'What to do when sleep won't come.'
Published to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII, but also at a time when Americans are turning once again toward domestic pleasures, the Black-Out Book is destined to find a new audience in the 21st century.
About the Author
Born in Beckenham in 1907, the late Sydney Box (1907-83) was a writer and film producer, producing such classics as The Seventh Veil (1945, which won him a best screenplay Oscar), Holiday Camp and Quartet. His film company Verity Films produced over 100 propaganda shorts for the government and the services during the Second World War. Managing director of Gainsborough Pictures (1946-49), he became an independent producer in the 1950s, forming Sydney Box Associates. Most of his screenplays were written in collaboration with his late wife, Muriel. Their collaborative work was published under the pseudonym "Evelyn August." The Muriel and Sydney Box Collection is located at the British Film Institute.
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Arts and Entertainment » Excess Culture » Recreation