[The twelfth] edition was reprinted (B) without the signatures (autogr.) of author and publisher on the face and back of the title; but they are printed on the verso, as before, at the end of the "Advertisement." "To the Reader" is omitted, and the first page of the "Contents" is numbered iii. The "Two New Cases" appear on pp. 213 and 214, but not the list of errata, for the errata have been revised in the book. This shows it to have been printed later than the former (A) issue...In another variation (C), on larger paper, the author's and publisher's (autogr.) signatures and the errata are again wanting, and the lines of ornament at the top of pp. 212, 213, are omitted. (Notes and Queries, 7th ser. ix, 25, January 11, 1890)Marshall's analysis is based on his examination of his own copies of the autographed edition and variant (C) and copies of (B) at belonging to the British Library (then British Museum) and Henry Jones ("Cavendish", discussed here).
I have seen a half dozen copies of (A), three each of (B) and (C), and five copies of another variant (which I shall call (D)), not described by Marshall. Before focusing on the minute differences among the variants, let's examine the commonalities.
Marshall has touched on most of the important:
- The variants are not signed by Osborne or Hoyle, though they both contain the Advertisement noting that "no copies of this book are genuine, but what are signed by us. Edmond Hoyle, and Thomas Osborne."
- The variants lack the note "To the Reader" (pictured in the last essay).
- The errata have been corrected in the book.
|(B) Title Page|
|(B) Title Page verso|
Marshall omits the most salient point that the three variant printings share a physical structure, though one that differs from the authorized edition. Last essay, I noted that the autographed version collates 12o: π1 A6 B-I12 K8 L2 χ1 = 114 leaves and the pagination is pp.  1 ii-x   2-86 [87-9] 90-115 [116-9] 120-152  154-168 [169-171] 172-214 = 228 pages. In discussing the contents, I noted that both structurally and textually, the final leaf χ1 was added after the bulk of the book had been printed. The structural argument is that the leaf is an insertion outside of a gathering. The textual argument is that an erratum appeared on L2v (p212), suggesting it was originally the final leaf. More importantly, χ1 contains new cases at whist "added since this book was printed off" with more errata on the verso (p214). The new whist cases appear with the section on backgammon, not the section on whist.
The variants all collate 12o: A-S6 T6 (T6 missing, blank?), so they are duodecimos in sixes rather than twelves. In all the copies I have seen, the final gathering is five leaves only. The sixth, which must have been present during printing, is perhaps blank or contained a leaf for another book. There are 18 gatherings of 6 leaves ('J' is not used as a signature) plus 5 leaves in gathering T for a total of 113 leaves, one fewer than the authorized edition. The pagination of the variants is [i-ii] iii-xii  2-86 [87-89] 90-115 [116-119] 120-152  154-168 [169-171] 172-214 for a total of 12 + 214 = 226 pages, two fewer than the authorized edition.
The text of the variants is almost a line-for-line resetting of the autographed edition. What accounts for the missing leaf? The variants lack a section title for whist, which appeared on the last of the seven leaves of the preliminaries. The other six leaves of preliminaries are in the A gathering. In all books, the autographed edition and the variants, B1r begins the text of the whist treatise.
Marshall is correct that the variants were all printed after the autographed edition. The corrected errata are conclusive, as is the structure with the new cases on pages 213-4 integral to the final gathering, rather than an insertion. What Marshall doesn't address is whether the books are piracies. I believe they are, because:
- The books are not autographed by Hoyle and Osborne. Hoyle was under contract to autograph all of his books and Osborne would have insisted upon it—it was a major component of his marketing, as evident in the advertisement I quoted last essay.
- After 1747, all of the Osborne Hoyles were duodecimos in twelves, not in sixes.