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Playing, Gambling and Cheating in Early Modern England and France

Abstract : Far from being a purely incidental aspect of daily life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, gambling and games of chance sparked heated controversies on both sides of the Channel throughout the period. The engagement of these activities with money, well studied by historians, made them objects of considerable concern. Gambling, any form of gambling, was seen as an activity that favoured cheating and suspicious, illicit transfers of money. Because of their heavy reliance chance, all profits resulting from games of hazard could potentially be considered a form of theft according to Puritan moralists. Gambling was more generally the target of invectives from religious authorities from all quarters, who were wary of this emerging parallel economy, and from many moralists who sometimes called for its outright ban. The debts and resulting impoverishment caused by gaming also worried public authorities. It is therefore not surprising that the social phenomenon of gambling became such a widespread motif in the literature and iconography of the period. The present collection of articles has grown out of a regular seminar on games and gaming held in 2019 and 2020, and an international conference on cheating and gambling in the early modern period held at Sorbonne Université in September 2020.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 5:49:12 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 3:32:02 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-03287610, version 1


Line Cottegnies, Louise Fang. Playing, Gambling and Cheating in Early Modern England and France. Line Cottegnies; Louise Fang. Etudes Epistémè : revue de littérature et de civilisation (XVIe - XVIIIe siècles), 2021, Playing, Gambling and Cheating in Early Modern England and France, 1634-0450. ⟨halshs-03287610⟩



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