Thursday, September 22, 2011

Early Dublin editions of Hoyle

I wrote briefly about some of the Irish reprints of Hoyle here. An important point is that the Dublin printings are not piracies because the copyright law, the Statute of Anne, did not apply to Ireland.

Having looked at a complete list of the individual treatises published by Cogan and Osborne, including the Osborne editions reissued as collections, let me now turn toward the Hoyles printed in Ireland from 1743-1745. I use the numbering scheme game.D.edition (there are no reissues, except for collections), where the D refers to Dublin. As usual, you can click on the number to get the full ESTC description.

The list:
  • Whist.D.1: Dublin: the "fourth" edition, printed for George Ewing, 1743 (advertised April 2, 1743)
  • 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
  • Memory.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Backgammon.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Piquet.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Quadrille.D.1: Dublin, printed for George and Alex. Ewing, 1745
The list is short, but a number of oddities emerge. Let's begin with the publisher. George Ewing published the first two editions of Whist; all others are published by George and his brother Alexander (though the names are abbreviated differently in different books).

first Dublin edition of Whist
(click to enlarge)
Next, let's look at the statement of edition. The first Dublin edition is called the "fourth" while the next two are both called the "fifth". I believe the reason for the "fourth" edition (advertised April 2) is that the text was taken from the London third edition. The third London edition was advertised on March 18 and the fourth London edition on June 29. Further confirmation comes from the text—there are changes to the section on the Laws of Whist in the first four London editions. All the Dublin editions print the laws as they appear in the third London edition. So, I believe that Whist.D.1 was called a "fourth" edition for a good bibliographical reason—it was the next setting of type after the London third. This had the side benefit of making the book appear more current than the then available London edition.

Despite many hours at microfilm readers,I have been unsuccessful in locating newspaper advertisements for any of the other books listed, so I don't have precise dates for Whist.D.2 and Whist.D.3. The text is unchanged from Whist.D.1, but each is a new setting of type. Ewing did the normal thing by incrementing the stated edition for Whist.D.2. Why Whist.D.3 is a stated "fifth" edition is a minor mystery that I'll touch on below.

Finally note the the Ewings never published the separate Laws of Whist designed for framing. 

We learn from the April 2 newspaper advertisement that Whist.D.1 sold for 6½d., a bit more than one quarter of the London 2s. price. Despite the lack of newspaper advertisements, there are advertisements within some of the books that tell something of the publication history. At the end of Backgammon.D.1, an advertisement notes:
Just publish'd by George and Alexander Ewing...price 6½. A Short Treatise on the Game of Piquet...Where may be had by the same author, A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist...price 6½...Also, An Artificial Memory...price 3d.
The implication is that Backgammon and Piquet were published at the same time, but that Whist (presumably Whist.D.1 or Whist.D.2 as Whist.D.3 was not published until 1745) and Memory had been published earlier. This sequence differs from the Cogan publications as his Backgammon preceded Memory.

I'll use an advertisement in the preliminaries of Quadrille to introduce one last book:
Lately published by the same author and sold by George and Alexander Ewing...A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. Price 6½d. An Artificial Memory. Price 3d. A Short Treatise on the Game of Piquet...Price 6½d. A Short Treatise on the Game of Backgammon. Price 6½d. N. B. The above treatises may be had, together with that on Quadrille, all neatly bound together and lettered. Price a British half crown.
The advertisement does not name the book "all neatly bound together", but it appears as The Polite Gamester, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1745. The title recalls Cotton's The Compleat Gamester, discussed here. It seems likely that Whist.D.3 and Quadrille.D.1 were published at the same time. So, we have a collection of the Ewing pamphlets in a publisher's binding—separately advertised and with a separate title page. Bowers notwithstanding, this is a separate bibliographical entry, a separate issue of the Dublin Hoyles.

Ewing collection of Hoyle's treatises
(click to enlarge)

Recall that on October, 26, 1745 Osborne first advertised all of Hoyle's individual treatises as well as "the whole bound." I can't establish a date for The Polite Gamester, so I don't know whether the Osborne or the Ewing collection came first. Like the Osborne collections, the 1745 Ewing collection can be made up in more than one way. I have seen copies with Whist.D.2 and no collected title page, and copies such as the one above with Whist.D.3 and a collected title page. Thus, there appear to be two issues of the Dublin collection. In 1748 Osborne stopped publishing the individual treatises and therefore collections. In Dublin, there was another set of individual treatises and collections in the early 1750s, but a discussion of those will have to wait for another time.

One final note. There is an owner's inscription, J. W. Rimington-Wilson, on the front paste down pictured above. This copy came from the wonderful Rimington-Wilson library of gaming books that was sold by the Quaritch firm in the late 1920s. In future essays, I'll discuss provenance in connection with gaming literature.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment