Olympism and Pastoralism in British Sporting Literature
This chapter explores the pastoralism of early modern British sport, evident in the first printed texts in English. These processes accelerated from 1612 onwards, as versions of “Olimpick,” “Ho-Limpyc,” “Olympian,” and “Olympiad” festivals were part of a wider engagement between the British people and the philosophies and practices of the ancient Olympic games. Many of these British manifestations contained reinvented or redefined elements, the most significant of which was connection of bodily practices with spiritual and ethical values Much of this involved the celebration of human interaction with nature and, by extension, the divine principles that crafted a harmonious environment. However, this could be disrupted by man-made conflicts. A rich seam of primary material available to contemporary researchers remains because of the widespread debates about the rights of individuals to spend what little free time they had in the way that they chose. Ultimately, what bodily and spiritual purposes should sport serve?
Citation:Willimas, J. (2015) Olympism and Pastoralism in British Sporting Literature. In: Sharon Harrow (ed.) British Sporting Literature and Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century Ashgate pp. 35-55
Research Group:International Centre for Sports History and Culture
- School of Humanities