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Prince's quest
Title : Prince's quest Prince's quest
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Source : The prince's quest [game] : a fairy race game
Place Of Creation : [Great Britain]
Publisher : [s.n.]
Date of creation : [ca. 1890]
Format : Game
Dimensions : 470 x 720 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

For 2-6 players. "At the throw of the die the race begins to save the princess. Each player or 'prince' takes a separate route which starts in the top lefthand corner. Follow the instructions on or near the dark squares on the board. Magic, mazes, fairies and wizards help and hinder the eager princes on their way to reach the rose-covered bower in which the princess is sleeping."

The game board folds in three and is gorgeously illustrated with fairy tale scenes of rose bowers, sorcerer's palace, dwarves, a fairy godmother, dragons, a magic carpet, a cloak of invisibility and a giant's castle - all motifs familiar to readers of fairytales, and objects which the players or princes must safely negotiate as they strive to reach the princess in her rose bower.

The game was produced at a time in the late 19th century when there was increasing awareness of and interest in children's reading. Fairy tales were no longer frowned upon and the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, the Arabian Nights and Hans Christian Andersen, to name but a few, were popular reading. A moral was pointed out in these: that good triumphs over evil, but this was more gently applied than in an earlier era of stricter religious education and preaching.

There are a number of aphorisms around the perimeter of the board intended to encourage the players: 'Faint heart never won fair lady' and 'The race is not always to the swift' and so on.

Period : 1884-1913
Further reading :

Goodfellow, Caroline. A collector's guide to games and puzzles, London: Apple Press, c1991

Opie, Iona. The treasures of childhood: books, toys and games from the Opie collection, London: Pavilion, 1989

Burton, Anthony. Children's pleasures: books, toys and games from the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, London: V & A Publications, 1996

Grunfeld, Frederic V. (ed.) Games of the world: how to make them, how to play them, how they came to be, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, c1975

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