The Origins of Charades

Posted by Elf Gillian on

Customers at Elves' Best love acting out the holiday charades we pack into all of our Christmas Crackers. Where does the game of charades originate?

According to Margaret Makepeace, Lead Curator, East India Company Records at the British Library:

"The game of Charades originated in France and became popular in England in the second half of the 19th century.  The Brothers Mayhew published a guide to the new game in 1850 - Acting Charades or Deeds not Words – A Christmas game to make a long evening short. Cards, blind man’s buff, and forfeits are said to have been dropped in favour of Charades: ‘On Christmas day, it has been looked forward to, and entered into with as much energy as the sainted plum-pudding itself’.

"Acting Charades" British London Museum

For more information about the 1850 Christmas Charades Guide and to read Margaret Makepeace's Blog, visit the British Library HERE.  Enjoy!



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