Friday, June 29

Tennis: A Most Foolish Notion

So Rafa Nadal was beaten last night by the obviously very talanted Lukas Rosol.

However, if you were to look at the Twitter feeds, you would have thought that perhaps we were being invaded by aliens or The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had stormed onto Centre Court.  #SHOCK #disaster #whyohwhy #howonearth #hysterical.
My favourite that I saw was simply: "Rafa! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....(repeating until all 140 characters permitted by Twitter were used up).

So, this morning's slightly frivolous post is dedicated to all Nadal fans around the world....

The image below is of a print made by Martin Droeshout between 1620 and 1630, entitled To this grave doctor millions do resort

It's a satirical broadside on the folly that is to be found in all ranks of society. It depicts the interior of an apothecary's shop, with the doctor using wisdom to purge a countryman seated on a stool, who defecates foolish notions represented by asses and geese. Next to them, a wealthy city merchant awaits to be given his dose of treatment, while a fashionably dressed woman holds a squirrel on a you did, obviously, if you were a fashionably dressed woman around town.

Meanwhile, a young courtier's head is inserted into a furnace so that his idle pastimes go up in a cloud of smoke carrying playing-cards, a backgammon board, musical instruments, extravagant clothes - and tennis rackets.

It would appear that tennis wasn't to be taken too seriously...
Foolish notions
You can read more about the history of tennis - and Wimbledon - on the history page of this blog. We also have a 'Did you know..?' page up and running. Links to both can be found in the sidebar to the right. Please leave us a comment if you have any that we've missed and we'll add it to the list!

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