Proto-modernity and Sport in Britain

Huggins, Mike (2020) Proto-modernity and Sport in Britain. In: Day, Dave, (ed.) Playing Pasts. MMU Sport and Leisure History, Manchester, pp. 1-19.

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This chapter reviews and challenges some of the generally accepted assumptions about the relationship between sport and modernization during the long eighteenth century. It argues that many of the structural features of modern sport were already appearing, albeit in rather different form. It reviews the strengths and weaknesses of current historiography, and some of the problems of recent research, suggesting that they have contributed to misunderstandings in secondary works. It presents ‘proto-modern sport’ as a time during which the conditions for modern sport emerged: these included the development of a more commercialized sporting culture from quite early on; rapid population growth over the period; the expansion of provincial newspaper coverage; the expansion of the toll-road system; the all-pervasive wagering on sporting events such as horseracing, cricket, pugilism or cock-fighting; formal and informal associativity; and the emergence of a leisure class amongst the titled and gentry.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: MMU Sport and Leisure History
ISBN: 978-1-910029-56-5
Related URL(s):
Departments: Pre June 2020 Academic Departments and Services > Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Sports and Physical Activity
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 10:39
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 13:03


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