Cotterell, J. H. (Jacob Henry), -1868, The paths of life , [circa 1840]
- The paths of life / by J.H. Cotterell ; drawn on stone by C. Burton.
- [London] : R. Cartwright, lithogc. printer, 1, Warwick Pl., [circa 1840]
- Physical Description:
- 1 game : hand-colored lithograph ; 55 x 64 cm, folded to 16 x 11 cm
- Rare Books and ManuscriptsGV1199 .C68 1840Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: As a COVID-19 precaution, the Study Room is closed until further notice.
- Copyright Status:
- Copyright Information
- Three-Dimensional Artifacts
- Although at first glance this board looks like a simple geographic game, its actual intent was to send a moralizing message about the consequences of choosing certain paths in life. Starting from "Parental Care Hall" at the top (1), the player would spin the teetotum and if the result was a one or two, the player would begin his life on the 'bad' road, moving through "Careless Backway", into "Careless County", passing by attractions such as "Cock-Match Pit", ending up in a "Drunkard's Hovel" or "Gaming Quicksands" in the "Poverty Maze." On the other hand, if the player got a three or four at the start, they were able to proceed on the "good' road, through "Direction Gate", traveling through "Discreet Country", stopping at "Good Book Pastures", "Many Friends City", or "Comfort Cottage". There were occasional opportunities to change the player's destiny--if one was lucky enough to land on the numbered circles in black (such as "Risk Land" or "Knave's Lure"), where players were offered a road "Either into a good or bad Route"--but on the whole, it was a straight path to the bottom of the board: either to the "Bottomless Pit" and losing the game, or to "Happy Old Age Hall" and winning it all.
Title and imprint from playing sheet.
Hand-colored lithograph mounted on linen and folded into twenty sections.
Enclosed in a marbled-paper slipcase bearing a printed paper label.
The "Rules and directions" for this allegorical game appear in a column down the right-hand side of the lithograph.
Date of publication from Liman.
Liman, E. Georgian and Victorian board games, pages 54-55
Shefrin, Jill. Ingenious contrivances, 6
Selected exhibitions: "Instruction and Delight: Children's Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection" (Yale Center for British Art, 17 January-23 May, 2019).
BAC: British Art Center copy includes publisher's original slipcase, with printed title label.
- Subject Terms:
- Conduct of life.Educational games.Geographical recreations -- Specimens.Imaginary places.Liman, Ellen and Arthur -- Provenance.
- Games -- Great Britain.
Recreations -- Great Britain.
Lithographs -- Hand-colored -- 1840.
If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.