Monday, February 27, 2012

The Polite Gamester

The last essay focused on Hoyle's individual treatises published in Dublin. This essay will focus on The Polite Gamester, the Hoyle anthology that was sold in Dublin for more than 40 years. As with the London Hoyles, early versions of the The Polite Gamester were collections, that is books issued by the publisher of works that were also available separately. In London it was possible to find the collections differently made up; the same is true in Dublin. In London, Thomas Osborne ceased publishing the individual treatises in 1748; it wasn't until 1762 that the Dublin publishers did the same. Unlike the London collections and collected editions, The Polite Gamester almost invariably had its own title page, so the cataloging problems described in my essay "What's in a Name" do not appear in Dublin. As I noted in the essay on individual treatises in Dublin, these books survive in much smaller number than do their London counterparts, so more conjecture is involved.

The separately published treatises are:
  • 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 (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)
  • Piquet.D.1: G. & A. Ewing 1744
  • Piquet.D.2: "fourth" edition, G. & A. Ewing 1752
  • PG.0
This is the one Irish collection that lacks an overall title page and therefore is not separately cataloged in ESTC. The Bodleian copy (shelf mark Jessel f.541) consists of  Whist.D.2, Memory.D.1, Backgammon.D.1, Piquet.D.1 and Quadrille.D1. In the UNLV copy (shelf mark GV 1201 H83 1743), the backgammon and piquet treatises are reversed.  Note that the whist treatise is printed only for George Ewing while the others are printed for George and Alexander Ewing.
  • PG.1, G. & A. Ewing, 1745 (price a British half crown according to an advertisement in Quadrille.D.1)
This is the most frequently-seen early Polite Gamester, with a collected title page (pictured at the bottom of this essay) and made up of Whist.D.3, Quadrille.D.1, Backgammon.D.1, Piquet.D.1, and Memory.D.1.  The title page is a single leaf bound in before the whist treatise.

Inevitably, when the treatises are sold both individually and as a collection, some of the treatises go out of print before the others. Then, purchasers of the collection get a different make up. There is a copy cataloged at at DePaul University (shelf mark IY 1745) which appears to contain Memory.D.2 rather than Memory.D.1.

Similary, one finds the 1752 Ewing title page on two differently made up books:
  • PG.2.A, Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1752 (price a British half crown according to an advertisement in Quadrille.D.2, but 2s. 2d. in newspaper advertisement)
PG.2.A contains the same editions of Quadrille and Backgammon as PG.1, but new editions of Whist.D.4, Piquet.D.2, and Memory.D.2. The games appear in the order whist, memory, quadrille, backgammon, piquet. The text on whist has been updated with changes that appeared in 1748 in London.

The same title page is used for PG.2.B, but the collection includes Quadrille.D.2 and Backgammon.D.2. Curiously, this collection is rarer, with but a single copy at the Bodleian (shelf mark Jessel f.572). One can imagine that other permutations were sold.
  • PG.3, Dublin: printed for Peter Wilson, 1752 (price one British shilling in newspaper advertisement)
I'll discuss this work in more detail in the next essay. It contains Whist.D.5,  the three treatises on quadrille, piquet, backgammon,apparently not sold separately, plus Memory.D.3.  Half of the six surviving copies are also bound with Brag.D.1 published by John Exshaw, suggesting a business relationship between Wilson and Exshaw.
  • PG.4, G & A Ewing, 1761
Ewing 1761
(click to enlarge)
I classify this work, pictured at right, as a collection rather than a collected edition, because one copy of Whist.D.6, a "fourteenth" edition and Memory.D.4 survives at the British Library. Surprisingly, the new appearance of whist lacks changes to the text that appeared in London in 1760. The collection continues with treatises on quadrille, backgammon and piquet, with no evidence that they were issued separately. Interestingly, it concludes with the treatise on probability, Chances.D.1. In London, the Doctrine of Chances was never included with the other works; here it was both sold separately and incorporated into this and all subsequent editions of The Polite Gamester.

Collected Editions:

Hoey 1787
(click to enlarge)
Thomas Ewing, presumably a son of George or Alexander, continued publishing The Polite Gamester after their death. For the first time in Ireland, Hoyle was available only as a single volume, as happened much earlier in London. After Thomas's death, James Hoey acquired both the rights and unsold stock which he reissued under his own title page, as described here. Peter, again presumably a son of James, published the final edition, pictured at right. It is surprising that the subsequent reprintings of Whist did not incorporate any changes to the text made after 1748, discussed in detail here.

In the next essay, we will return to 1752 and look in more detail at the competing Ewing and Wilson editions of The Polite Gamester.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Individual Treatises in Ireland

It's time to deal more exhaustively with the Dublin editions of Hoyle. I must say that I've been dreading it. All of the bibliographical problems we saw in London recur in Dublin: Which treatises were published individually? As in London, we will also find these separately-issued treatises reissued as collections, which in Dublin were called The Polite Gamester. Later, as in London, the publishers ceased separate publication and sold only The Polite Gamester as a collected edition.  Lastly, there were piracies. Piracies? How can there be piracies in Ireland where there was no copyright law? Just wait.

Two factors make Dublin more difficult to disentangle than London. First, the books themselves tend to survive in fewer number. Second, while the London newspapers have be digitized with full text search, Dublin newspapers have not. I have examined over 400 London advertisements for genuine editions of Hoyle; the number is much larger if you include piracies and editions published after Hoyle's death. I have seen only a half dozen advertisements for Hoyle in Dublin newspapers, and those only after many hours of painstaking search on microfilm. Fortunately some editions of the treatise on Quadrille give prices for the other works and thus confirm publication details. Nonetheless, the Dublin story will have to be a bit more speculative.

We will begin with seven separately-published treatises that appeared in Dublin: Whist, An Artificial Memory for Whist, Backgammon, Piquet (with Chess), Quadrille, Brag and The Doctrine of Chances. The next essay will explore how these were combined into various versions of The Polite Gamester.

 I have previously identified the first Dublin printings of Whist:
  • Whist.D.1: Dublin: the "fourth" edition, printed for George Ewing, 1743 (price 6d. ½ from newspaper advertisement)
  • Whist.D.2: Dublin: the "fifth" edition, printed for George Ewing, 1743
  • Whist.D.3: Dublin: the "fifth" edition, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1745 (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.1)
After these, complications begin to appear. Recall that in 1746, Thomas Osborne merged An Artificial Memory into Whist.6. As we shall see, the circumstances in Dublin are not so clear. There are three more candidates for separately-published whist treatises:
  • Whist.D.4: Dublin: the "thirteenth" edition, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1752 (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.2, but 4d. a in newspaper advertisement)
  • Whist.D.5: Dublin: the "fifth" edition, printed for Peter Wilson, 1752, apparently sold with Memory (price 4d. from newspaper advertisement)
  • Whist.D.6: Dublin: the "fourteenth" edition, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1762
1752 Ewing Whist
(click to enlarge)
No copies survive of Whist.D.4 outside of The Polite Gamester, but I am persuaded by the advertisements that it was published separately. Its treatment of An Artificial Memory is most strange. To look only at the table of contents, Memory appears to be handled just as the London edition of 1748, with chapter 15 containing the new cases from Memory and chapter 19 the memory itself. The book itself, however, tells a different story--it redirects the reader to a separately-published work, as pictured at right. It makes for an awkward appearance and must have disappointed any purchasers who did not also buy Memory.

Wilson also published a Whist.D.5 in 1752. It seems to me to be coincidental that it is the fifth Dublin edition and is styled a "fifth" edition. Only one copy is recorded at the Bodleian Library and it is bound with An Artificial Memory, which has the appearance of a separate work--a separate title page, table of contents, and page numbering. However Wilson's advertisement offers both books for 4d., so perhaps that is how they were sold, at least when not part of The Polite Gamester.

I have found no advertisements for Whist.D.6. The only surviving copy which is not included in the 1761 Polite Gamester is at the British Library, bound with Memory.D.4. Perhaps it was issued separately, perhaps not. Likely, the two books were only sold together.


I've discussed this book a number of times. One essay criticizes the text; another discusses how the London edition was merged into Whist.6.
  • Memory.D.1: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1744 (price 3d. from advertisement in Quadrille.D.1)
  • Memory.D.2: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1751 (price 3d. from advertisement in Quadrille.D.2, but no separate copies known)
  • Memory.D.3: Dublin: printed for Peter Wilson, 1752 (likely sold only with Whist.D.5 
  • Memory.D.4: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1762 (likely sold only with Whist.D.6)
  • Backgammon.D.1: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1745 (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.1)
  • Backgammon.D.2: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing, 1753 (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.2)

Piquet.D.2 survives only in The Polite Gamester, but the advertisement in Quadrille suggests that it was available separately. Another printing of Piquet is found in the Ewing's Polite Gamester of 1762, but it was not published separately. It lacks a title page, probably because the text itself took exactly one and a half duodecimo sheets. 
  • Piquet.D.1: Dublin: printed for G. & A. Ewing 1744.  (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.1)
  • Piquet.D.2: Dublin: the "fourth" edition, printed for G. & A. Ewing 1752 (price 6d. ½ from advertisement in Quadrille.D.2)
Advertisements in
(click to enlarge)

A single copy of Quadrille.D.2 survives at the British Library. I have referred a number of times to the advertisements in these two works and show the second of them at right.

This work, discussed here,  is most often bound at the end of Peter Wilson's Polite Gamester (1752) suggesting a business relationship between Wilson and Exshaw. Some separate copies survive.

  • Brag.D.1: Dublin: printed for John Exshaw, 1751 (price 4d. newspaper advertisement)
Doctrine of Chances

Interestingly, the Ewings started to include Chances in the Polite Gamester beginning in 1761. It never appeared as part of the collected editions of Hoyle in London.

This has been a long and rather dry listing of books. It will prepare us for the more interesting discussions of the various permutations of The Polite Gamester and for the story of piracy in Ireland.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Revisiting a Scottish Hoyle

    (updated June 8, 2012 to correct errors relating to the text of the "twelfth" edition)

    I previously discussed an undated Hoyle printed by Mundell and Son in Edinburgh. I noted that Julian Marshall thought the book was printed after the "twelfth" London edition (first advertised December 23, 1760), but before the "thirteenth" (December 13, 1763). Since I wrote that essay, I have documented changes to text of the whist treatise, and in light of that work, have reexamined the Scottish Hoyle. Perhaps I should have read Marshall more carefully. I now realize that Marshall is certainly correct.

    As I noted earlier, the "twelfth" edition adds new chapters 17 and 18; "New Cases at Whist, never publish'd 'till 1760" and "New Laws at Whist." Chapter 22 contains the old laws. It also adds final pages 213-4, containing "two new cases at whist added since this book was printed off." Those cases are nowhere mentioned in the table of contents. The "thirteenth" moves the cases presented on pages 213-4 into chapter 17 adding "a case of curiosity, first publish'd 1763."

    Scottish Hoyle contents
    (click to enlarge)
    The Edinburgh edition is textually identical to the "twelfth", but does update the table of contents, pictured at right, to include the new cases on the final leaf. Absent is the fourth case of "curiosity" from the "thirteenth" edition of 1763, confirming that the book was printed between 1760 and 1763.

    The physical structure is worthy of discussion. The gatherings could not be more straightforward, A-S6. The format is more open to question. With the gatherings in sixes, it could be a 12o (twelve leaves to a sheet) or an 18o. Until recently ESTC recorded it as 12o, but I persuaded them to change it.

    My arguments were: (1) The book is smaller than a typical 12o, suggesting more leaves per sheet. (2) The chain lines are vertical, rather than horizontal, as would be expected in a 12o. (3) The few watermarks I could find were located in the bottom gutter, rather than at the top of the page, as would be expected in a 12o. (4) Most importantly, in a copy of mine, deckles, the feather edge of handmade paper, are occasionally visible. As we shall see, the pattern and location of the deckles suggest an 18o format.

    In the picture below, deckles are visible at the outer edge of leaf R6v (the back of sixth leaf in gathering R). Deckles are also visible at the bottom of that leaf as well as on the bottom of leaf S1r. 

    Deckles on R6 and S1
    (click to enlarge)

    In the book overall, deckles are visible in all gatherings at the bottom of conjugate leaves 1 and 6. In some gatherings (L, O and R), the outer edge is deckled on leaves 4, 5 and 6. Note that the outer deckle appears every third gathering: L, skipping M and N, O, skipping P and Q, then R. The sheet must have been imposed as follows (modified from Savage, figure 62, page 354):

            { R4v  R3r  | S4v  S3r  | A4v  A3r
            { R5r* R2v* | S5r* S2v* | A5r* A2v*
            { R6v  R1r  | S6v  S1r  | A6v  A1r

    What does all that mean? This is one side of a printed sheet, consisting of gatherings R, S, and A, totaling 18 leaves. Of course the other side would be printed as well. The dashed horizontal and vertical lines indicate cuts. The asterisks indicate pages that would be printed upside down—I don't know how to render that in HTML. I haven't indicated the folds, but you can imagine that the four-leaf pieces are folded first horizontally and then vertically, leaving the L1r in front and L6v in back. The two-leaf pieces are folded once vertically and inserted into the middle of the corresponding gathering. Get out a sheet of paper and try it!

    Back to the deckles, which I indicate with squiggly lines. You'll see that the bottom of leaves 1 and 6, ones that are deckled in my copy, are in fact at the edge of the paper. Similarly, leaves 4, 5, and 6, which are deckeled in every third gathering, are at the left edge of the paper for one of the three gatherings.

    Books will not generally show deckles—as part of binding, all edges can be trimmed, sometimes severely. I am fortunate to have a copy that shows the deckles and establishes conclusively that the book is an 18o. The deckle is continuous across leaves S1 and S6, indicating that the new cases S6 were not inserted later. It is also clear that the book was printed B-D on one sheet, then E-G , H-K (the letter J is not used), L-N, O-Q with the last-printed sheet consisting of R, S, and A. The table of contents is in gathering A, so that the new case and the change to the table of contents were all in the last-printed sheet.

    • Marshall, Julian, "Books on Gaming", Notes and Queries, 7th S. IX. February 22, 1890, p142.
    •  Savage, William. Dictionary of The Art of Printing. London: Longman, Brow, Green, and Longmans, 1841.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Changes in the Text of Whist

    (udpated February 13, 2012 to discuss the "thirteenth" edition)
    (updated June 8, 2012 to correct errors in discussion of the "twelfth" edition)

    Hoyle was generally content with the first version of each of his works. There were no substantive changes to any of his treatises after their initial publication, with the exception of Whist. This essay examines the textual changes in the whist treatise, looking primarily at the addition of new material. The one chapter that Hoyle edited frequently in the earliest editions was on the laws of whist, and those changes are discussed as well. This essay provides a good overview of the most common editions of Hoyle and will help as we look at the propagation of Hoyle's writing to Ireland and to the continent in future essays.

    Numbering of editions is always a problem with Hoyle. Through the "tenth" edition, the whist treatise has its own stated edition, whether it was published separately or as part of a collected edition, in which case the stated edition appears on the section title. Beginning in 1756, the section title for whist has no statement of edition, but the collected title page continues the sequence as an "eleventh" edition.

    The discussion below omits editions which have no changes in the text from the prior edition, including, for example, the "fifth" and "seventh" editions. Dates are generally from contemporary newspaper advertisements, with the exception of the those for the manuscript and the first edition which I discuss individually. 

    Winter 1741-2: Manuscript

    As we learn from the first edition of 1742, Hoyle circulated an early version in manuscript form to his private whist students. We can date the manuscript from the title to chapter XIV of the first edition:
    Some purchasers of the treatise in manuscript, disposed of the last winter, having desired a further explanation concerning the playing of sequences, they are explained in the following manner. (p74)
    Unfortunately, no copies of the manuscript have survived. We know of its existence only from the first printed edition.

    November 17, 1742. The first edition printed for the author

    The first edition, consisting of 86 pages of text, gives us a clear idea of what the manuscript must have contained. Hoyle noted that "The author of this treatise did promise, if it met with approbation, to make an addition to it by way of appendix, which he has done accordingly." (p1) At the foot of page 46 it a note "what follows in this treatise is the addition promised." Hoyle, then, added 40 pages of new text to manuscript for the first edition. The book was entered at Stationers Hall on November 17, 1742 where nine copies of the book were deposited, giving us the publication date, even though the book was never advertised.

    February 19, 1743. London piracies

    Francis Cogan bought the whist copyright from Hoyle on February 4, 1743. As I discuss in great detail in "Pirates, Autographs, and a Bankruptcy", Cogan and Hoyle planned a second edition with minor changes to a table of odds for winning a game of whist at various intermediate scores. The planned edition never appeared, and the intended changes first appeared in three pirated editions of February 1743 (here, here, and here).

    March 4, 1743. Second edition printed for F. Cogan

    To compete against the piracies, rather than published the planned second edition, Cogan arranged for Hoyle to make "great additions" for an expanded second edition. The great additions were actually quite modest, appearing only in the first two gatherings.
    Second edition table of contents
    (click to enlarge)
    They were (1) definitions of two technical terms, “Force” and “See-saw,” crowded into the Table of Contents (pictured at right); (2) a short section called “An explanation and application of the calculations, necessary to be understood by those who are to read this treatise;” (pp4-7) and (3) expansion of the laws of whist from 14 in the first edition to 25 in the second. The table of contents does not match the contents of the first two gatherings, suggesting that they are late additions to the book and confirming the unissued, but planned second edition.

    March 18, 1743. Third edition printed for F. Cogan

    The third edition contains minor changes to the laws of whist, still 25 in number as in the second edition. The definitions of "force" and "see-saw" are expanded into a new, unnumbered chapter, “An explanation for the use of beginners, of some of the terms or technical words made use of in this treatise.” (pp93-6) Unlike the second edition, the table of contents correctly reflects the early sections of the book, but it still contains the two definitions from the second edition and omits the new chapter.

    June 29, 1743. Fourth edition printed for F. Cogan

    As noted in the appendix to "Pirates, Autographs, and a Bankruptcy", the fourth edition was printed in part from standing type from the third. Notably, the fourth edition is, along with Backgammon published at the same time, the first to spell Hoyle's first name as "Edmond" rather than "Edmund" although the name briefly reverts in the 1744 treatise on Piquet. The definitions of "force" and "see-saw" are removed from the table of contents, which now includes the chapter "explanation of technical words,". though it remains unnumbered. Hoyle edited many of the laws of whist, and reduced the number from 25 to 24. 

    November 17, 1743 An Artificial Memory for Whist printed for F. Cogan

    Cogan published this least useful of all of Hoyle's works. I include it in this discussion because when Thomas Osborne took over the Hoyle copyright in 1745, he incorporated the work into the whist treatise.

    November 9, 1745: Sixth edition printed for T. Osborne.

    Dictionary for Whist
    (click to enlarge)
    The "sixth" edition was published separately and as part of the Osborne collection of Hoyle. It is the first of the whist treatises to to note that the proprietor (Cogan) had obtained an injunction against nine persons for pirating Hoyle, though that announcement first appeared in the backgammon treatise in June 1743. The edition adds "A Dictionary for Whist" (pp62-67) in a question and answer format that has been often copied, as in A Whist Catechism by Mary D'Invilliers Levick, Philadelphia: Lippincott. 1896 (available for download). The title page and contemporary advertisements promise "several case, not hitherto published," but these are cases that were previously published in An Artificial Memory, now incorporated into the whist treatise.

    March 7, 1748: Eighth edition printed for T. Osborne.

    For the first time, Hoyle was available only as a collected "eighth" edition—the treatises were no longer separately published. The work was reissued a number of times as a "ninth" and "tenth" edition both by Osborne and by William Reeve. As I wrote earlier, these many reissues are difficult to untangle and difficult even to name.
    Additional cases in "eighth" edition
    (click to enlarge)
    Again, the title page and advertisements promise "A whole chapter of thirteen new cases, never publish'd before" and in fact pages 64-9 are the new cases (pictured at right). However, the prior chapter is listed in the table of contents as "Additional Cases, 1747" even though these are the same cases which first appeared in 1744 in Artificial Memory.

    December 23, 1760: Twelfth edition printed for T. Osborne.

    Additional cases in "twelfth" edition
    (click to enlarge)
    While the "eleventh" edition contains nothing new, the title page of the "twelfth" edition promises "two new cases at whist, never before printed" which appear in chapter 17 on pages 64-5 (pictured at left). The title page also promises new laws of whist "as played at White's and Saunder's Chocolate-Houses" (pictured below) on pages 66-71. The final chapter keeps "The old laws relating to the game (which are also continued for the use of those who don't chuse to play by the new)."

    New laws in "twelfth" edition
    (click to enlarge)

    pp213-4 Two new cases.
    The final two pages, 213-4, contain "Two new cases at Whist, added since this book was printed off." Clearly these cases were a late addition to the book. The cases are not included in chapter 17 where they logically belong. Nor are the listed anywhere in the table of contents. Finally, from a bibliographical perspective, they are an inserted leaf, a single leaf added outside a gathering.

    December 13, 1763: Thirteenth edition printed for T. Osborne

    New cases in "thirteenth" edition
    (click to enlarge)
    Like the "twelfth" edition, the title page of the "thirteenth" mentions "two new cases at whist, never before printed." The new cases from pages 64-5 of the "twelfth" edition are compressed into Chapter 17 as Case 1. Cases 2 and 3 are the ones that appear on pages 213-4 of the "twelfth" edition. What is new in the "thirteenth" is case 4, "A case of curiosity, first publish'd 1763" (pictured at right).

    Hoyle made no changes in the "fourteenth" (1767) (discussed further here), the last edition to appear in his lifetime and the first to appear after the death of bookseller Thomas Osborne. Unsurprisingly, the title page still promises "two new cases at whist, never before printed," but no new material appears.