Monday, August 6, 2012

An unrecorded Dublin Hoyle?

I picked up another Hoyle at auction last month and it is quite unusual. It is a 1776 Irish reprint of Hoyle's treatise on whist together with his Artificial Memory. I disparaged the latter work in my essay "An Artificial Memory for Whist." The once elegant, now shabby binding, pictured at right is certainly not a publisher's binding—the Irish reprinters used cheap, undecorated calf or sheep. The curiousity is the text. If published as it now survives, it is a previously unrecorded issue of Hoyle.

First some background both about the individual treatises in Dublin and about The Polite Gamester, the Dublin collection of all of Hoyle's works.

In my essay on "Individual Treatises in Ireland," I commented on the difficulty of identifying all of the separately-published treatises. As compared with London publications, they survive in much smaller number and newspaper advertisements for them are less numerous and more difficult to locate. I proposed a list of editions for Whist and the Artificial Memory:
  • Whist.D.1: "fourth" edition, George Ewing, 1743
  • Whist.D.2: "fifth" edition, George Ewing, 1743
  • Whist.D.3: "fifth" edition, G. and A. Ewing, 1745
  • Whist.D.4: "thirteenth" edition, G. and A. Ewing, 1752 (no copies survive except as part of The Polite Gamester. Likely sold only with Memory.D.2)
  • Whist.D.5: "fifth" edition, Peter Wilson, 1752 (likely sold only with Memory.D.3)
  • Whist.D.6: "fourteenth" edition, G. and A. Ewing, 1762 (likely sold only with Memory.D.4)
  • Memory.D.1: G. & A. Ewing, 1744
  • Memory.D.2: G. & A. Ewing, 1751 (likely sold only with Whist.D.4)
  • Memory.D.3: Peter Wilson, 1752 (likely sold only with Whist.D.5)
  • Memory.D.4: G. & A. Ewing, 1762 (likely sold only with Whist.D.6)
The treatises are most often found issued as part of a collected volume which I discuss in the essay "The Polite Gamester". It appeared to me that Gamesters through 1761 were collections, that is the individual treatises were sold separately, but could also be bought as a single volume. I felt that beginning with the 1772 edition printed for Thomas Ewing, individual treatises were no longer sold, but only the collected edition. Now I'm not so sure.

"title page"
for my new book

My new book has the title page for a 1776 edition of Memory printed for James Hoey, but contains both the text of Whist and Memory, recalling a bibliographical problem I discuss in the essay "What's in a Name?"  The new book is an excerpt of James Hoey's 1776 edition  of The Polite Gamester. It is important to note that it is the same setting of type, but contains a number of surprises that will become more understandable if we first look at the larger work.

As I wrote in the essay "Every Cancel Tells a Story, Don't It:? (part 1)" Hoey's Polite Gamester is a reissue of  an earlier edition printed for T. Ewing, 1772. When Ewing died in 1775 or 1776, Hoey must have acquired his stock of unsold copies of Polite Gamester, canceled both the overall title and the section titles, and published the book as his own.

The 1776 Polite Gamester collates 12o: π1 A4 B-C12 D12(±D6,D11) E12(±E9) F12 G12(±G3) H12(±H5,12) I-K12 (K12+1) = 114 leaves. The pagination is [10] [1] 2-58 [59-61] 62-68 [69-71] 72-88 [89-91] 92-123 [124-7] 128-151 [152-5] 156-66 [167-71] 172-217 [218] = 288 pages. The oddities were become clearer if we review the contents:

π1 [2] cancel collected title page for The Polite Gamester
(verso blank)
A1-A4 [8] collected table of contents (A4v blank)
B1-D5 [1] 2-58 text of Whist
D6 59-60 cancel section title for Memory (verso blank)
D7-D10 [61] 62-68 text of Memory
D11 [69-70] cancel section title for Quadrille (verso blank)
D12-E8 [71] 72-88 text of Quadrille
E9 [89-90] cancel section title for Backgammon (verso blank)
E10-G2 [91] 92-123 [124] text of Backgammon
G3 [125-6] cancel section title for Piquet (verso blank)
G4-H4 [127] 128-151 [152] text of Piquet
H5 [153-4] cancel section title for Chess (verso blank)
H6-H11 [155] 156-166 text of Chess
H12 [167-8] cancel section title for Doctrine of Chances
I1-K12+1 [169-71] 172-217 [218] text of Doctrine of Chances

What stands out is that Whist does not have a section title at all.

With that behind us, it is time to look at my new book. The book collates 12o: π1 A1 B-C12 D12(-D6,11,12) = 35 leaves. The pagination is [4] [1] 2-58 [61] 62-68 = 70 pages. Note the three deleted leaves in gathering D and the break in pagination at pages 59-60. The contents will explain what happened:

Signature Reference Page Reference Contents
π1 [2] cancel section title for Memory (verso blank)
A1 [2] (partial) table of contents for Whist
B1-D5 [1] 2-58 text of Whist
D7-D10 [61] 62-68 text of Memory

In the absence of a section title for Whist, the section title for Memory (originally unnumbered page 59) was placed at the front of the volume. As you can see below the table of contents have been truncated to refer only to the treatise on whist.

A1v: truncated table of contents
B1r: text of Whist begins
Compare the table of contents with its appearance in the 1776 Polite Gamester, below:

A1v: Whist table of contents
A2r: Whist contents continue
Note that the table of contents for whist continue for two lines onto A2r and then continue on to quadrille and backgammon. My volume has a slightly incomplete table of contents for Whist. Curiously there is no table of contents for Memory at all—see the top of A2r which reads "CHAP XIX. Contained in the Artificial Memory."

So the structure of my book is clear. π1 is the Hoey's cancel section title for Memory. [Aside: I was tempted to write π1 (=D6), but that is not correct—D6 as printed was Ewing's section title for Memory.] The table of contents, originally A4 was reduced to the single leaf A1 to omit references to the other treatises. As for the deleted leave, D6 and D11 were printed as Ewing section titles and D12 was the beginning of the quadrille text.

Now that the structure of my new book is clear, the question is whether it was issued by Hoey in this form. If so, we have an unrecorded work, Whist and Memory issued as a volume apart from The Polite Gamester. Perhaps Hoey broke up some copies of The Polite Gamester that he acquired from Ewing and sold the treatises individually. Perhaps Ewing issued not only The Polite Gamester in 1772, but Whist and Memory separately as well. In that case Hoey could have acquired some unsold stock and cancelled the title.

Another explanation is that a purchaser of the 1776 Polite Gamester was interested only in the game of whist and when he had the book bound, he instructed his binder to discard (or bind separately) all of the other treatisew. The bibliographer's mantra says to examine as many copies as possible. Here, mine is the only copy, and unless I'm able to find some contemporary newspaper advertisements, we'll never know for sure how it was issued.

In London, Memory was merged into Whist in the "sixth" edition of 1746 as I discuss in the essay "The First Osborne Hoyles." In Dublin, the two were sold separately until the 1750s when, judging from the copies I have seen, they were always sold together. Until I acquired this book, I thought that the last time these two were sold apart from The Polite Gamester was in 1762, a combined volume of Whist.D.6 and Memory.D.4. My new book suggests the possibility that the two were sold together again in 1772 and 1776.

Perhaps this essay will help you appreciate the difficulties of doing a bibliography of Hoyle!

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