Some things you just can’t part with. For example, I have been unable for years to toss my parents set of The Book of Knowledge – The Children’s Encyclopedia. Hardly collectibles, my editions are a mishmash of volumes from 1912 to 1935. Although extremely outdated they feature beautiful illustrations, along with a healthy dose of worldly knowledge.

Book of Knowledge Cover


Within the pages of the encyclopedia, was a feature on Things to Make and Things to Do. Here, for example, was a game to play while sitting around the fire on a cold winter’s day. One boy or girl reads out the descriptions given and the game is to guess this famous scenes in history.



We are in a tent in a meadow by the bank of a river. In the tent are gathered a number of men armed after the fashion of the Middle Ages, and through the opening of the tent, we see troops standing. The men in the tent look angry and determined, and bend threatening looks on one who is the center of attention, and wears a crown. The foremost man of the group is urging him to put his sign to a document spread out on a table before him. At last, he consents, sets his seal on a lump of wax and throws himself on the ground in a rage. Who is he, and what is the deed that he has been forced to do by others and now so very much regrets?


We are on the coast of a wild, uncultivated country. Behind the bare rock on which we stand, forest stretches away inland. Off the shore is a small bark at anchor, and from it we watch men, women, and children landing. They are dressed in plain garments and seem to belong to the artisan class. They are evidently weary, yet how brave they must be to cross that wild sea in their small boat of 180 tons, and land with their little children on an unknown shore. Who are they, and why have they come here, where there is neither shelter nor food ready for them?


It is a time of anxiety and danger. All the countryside is disturbed by war. A battle has just been fought, and in the forest, near the battlefield, a mother and her boy have sought refuge. While wandering about hoping to escape notice, some robbers discover the mother and her little son, and take from them their money, jewelry, and food and then leave them. It is April. The trees are leafless, and the poor mother is anxious for her boy, who has been reared in the comfort of palaces. While seated on a tree-trunk, she hears a footstep on the dry leaves, and, fearing it is another robber, her heart fails her. Then she thinks of her boy, who should one day be king of England. She rises and faces the newcomer, who is indeed a robber, but her pleadings rouse the pity of the man, who promises to take her and her boy safely to the coast, so that they may be able to escape to France. What incident is this, and does the robber keep the promise that he has made to take them to the coast?

Alice in WonderlandThe Answers to the Game will be featured in next week’s blog – The “Alice in Wonderland” Game









The Answers to the game “Where is it”?

1: Benares, India – 2: St. Petersburg – 3: Upper Burma


Disclaimer: Remember this text was published in 1912 and is a work of its time. I have reprinted the descriptions intact,  correcting only major typographical errors. You might find an occasional out-of-date ethnic or cultural stereotyping reference, along with a variety of other items surrounding work, play, fun, and life in general. 

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