recently nursemyra read a most interesting book called The Past of Pastimes (1969) and found out more than anyone ever needed to know about tennis.
image by Namio
Lord Abedare quotes from a French treatise on tennis and rheumatism, written in the 18th century: players should make a broad belt with a napkin and tighten it sufficiently by two knots on the kidneys. This binding will keep the body firmer, strengthen the guts, and uphold the liver against the frequent thrusts and shakes of the players, preventing it from pulling back the diaphragm by its weight, which would make for difficulty in breathing.”
Queen Elizabeth the First, whilst not a player, was an interested spectator at a match between the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Leicester. The latter, we are told….
‘being verie hotte and swetinge took the queen’s napken owte of her hande and wyped his face. The Duke protested that the Earl was too sawcie.”
nursemyra thinks the Earl could take lessons in ‘saucy’ from these gals…