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The way we were: playtime

Extracts from Lesley Blanch, Geoff Dyer and Jonathan Meades

By Ian Irvine   December 2019

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Children playing with various toys, in the background are paintings of the Creation and the creation of Adam. Engraving by A. Bosse, 1636. Engraving 1636 By: Abraham BossePublished: 1636 Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0


Lesley Blanch describes her Edwardian childhood in Chiswick: “In winter during the long, dark evenings that set in around three o’clock, we spent more time indoors at home, sampling simple indoor diversions. As a special treat we were allowed a large, iron-bound box of ancient playthings which had been discovered by my father in some antique-dealer’s cellar. This had a mysterious quality, like its contents: a painted cup and ball, a baby’s silver-gilt rattle with…

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