A Short History of Darts: Background information when reading The Dart League King

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Dart League King

A Novel

by Keith L. Morris

The Dart League King by Keith L. Morris X
The Dart League King by Keith L. Morris
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2008, 210 pages

    Oct 2008, 210 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Allison Stadd
Buy This Book

About this Book

A Short History of Darts

This article relates to The Dart League King

Print Review

The origin of the game of darts is lost in the mists of time. The game is known to have been played since at least the Middle Ages in England, but it seems likely that bored soldiers lounging around the campsite have probably been throwing arrows at targets for much longer. In fact, it doesn't take much imagination to trace the origins much further back - to the first day that one of our distant ancestors picked up a stone and lobbed it at a passing meal and, on missing, decided to hone his skills throwing at a target.

Early darts boards were probably whatever came to hand, with wine barrels being popular, as the cork bung in the center provided a convenient target. Later, cross-sections of tree trunks were used - the growth rings and cracks in the wood providing circular and radial divisions within the target (the current system of numbers wasn't standardized until the early 20th century). At some point, the game moved indoors, which led to shorter arrows being used, the precursor to the darts used today.

The game was firmly established by 1530 when Anne Boleyn presented her soon to be husband Henry VIII with a set of ornamented darts (apparently both Henry and the then King of France were keen players). It is said that darts arrived in the New World on the Mayflower; and the British army spread the game through every corner of the Empire.

Darts as a pub game came into its own in the early 1900s. During the Victorian era gambling was banned in pubs, but in 1908 a pub owner in Leeds won a court case proving that darts was a game of skill, not of chance, and thus it was allowed to be played in pubs.

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

Article by Allison Stadd

This article relates to The Dart League King. It first ran in the November 12, 2008 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Where Coyotes Howl
    Where Coyotes Howl
    by Sandra Dallas
    Where Coyotes Howl may appear to be a classically conventional historical novel — a wide-eyed ...
  • Book Jacket: After the Miracle
    After the Miracle
    by Max Wallace
    Many people have heard one particular story about Helen Keller—how the saintly teacher, Annie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Lost Wife
    The Lost Wife
    by Susanna Moore
    The Lost Wife is a hard-hitting novella based in part on a white settler named Sarah Wakefield's ...
  • Book Jacket
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Voted 2021 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Angeline Boulley's young adult ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Pieces of Blue
    by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    A hilarious and heartfelt novel for fans of Maria Semple and Emma Straub.

Win This Book
Win Girlfriend on Mars

30 Copies to Give Away!

A funny and poignant debut novel that skewers billionaire-funded space travel in a love story of interplanetary proportions.



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.