Billiards and Lewis Carroll
Billiards is arguable one of the very greatest games ever created and there is no doubt that this can be seen in the amazing pedigree and history that the game of billiards carries. One of the very coolest things abou billiards is its history. The history of billiards goes back to early garden games that were the spawning of other games such as croquette and golf.
When you really start looking at these other leisure and garden games, you will see how interesting and involved it gets. Just like billiards had to pass by the scrutinizing eye of the early church which condemned it, croquet owes its survival to a group of dedicated indivivules that introduced the game in the first place and then worked to keep the game-play pure.
And what does this all have to do with a mathematician and writer who followed the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll? This man, named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, actually was a relative of the French Jacques family that invented the game of croquette and carried it on for years.
Lewis Carroll included a fanciful version of this game in his famous book about Alice in Wonderland. In this book, the game of croquet was played by royalty who preferred ostriches and hedgehogs to the hardwood and ivory that the game’s equipment usually called for. It is interesting that Carroll would manipulate the materials used in the game play to such an extent but leave unchanged the game play itself. This is probably because the Jacques family, to whom Carroll was related, was intrinsically involved with the hardwood and ivory production that fueled the game of croquette.