Monday, September 12, 2011

November 9, 1745: The First Osborne Hoyles

(updated September 19, 2015 to conform to the numbering scheme used in my online descriptive bibliography of Hoyle) 

 Francis Cogan was forced to sell copyrights in 1745 and 1746 because of financial difficulties. Thomas Osborne purchased the Hoyle copyright from him sometime in 1745 and on November 9 of that year, Osborne published his first editions of Hoyle. Their publication history is quite complicated as Osborne experimented with ways to sell the book. He reissued, reprinted, and sold the individual treatises, and also sold them bound together as a collection. On March 8, 1748 Osborne changed his approach—he stopped publishing the treatises individually, but had them printed and sold in a single volume as Mr. Hoyle's Treatises1. The next few essays will discuss the books that appeared in those two-and-a-half years when Osborne sold the individual treatises side by side with the collections. First, the individual treatises.

Previously, I presented a list of the Cogan Hoyles. To understand the transition from Cogan to Osborne, I reprint the Cogan list below, adding the individual treatises published by Osborne through 1747. As with the Cogan list, this combined list excludes piracies and Irish reprints, but is complete as to authorized editions.
  • Whist.1.1: London: printed by John Watts for the author, 1742, entered at Stationers Hall in the name of Hoyle November 17, 1742.
    • Whist.1.2: The “second” edition, 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
  • Whist.2: The second edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 4, 1743)
  • Whist.3: The third edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 18, 1743)
  • Whist.4: The fourth edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised June 29, 1743)
  • Whist.5: The fifth edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1744.
  • Whist.6: The sixth edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1746 (advertised October 26, 1745)
  • Whist.7.1: The seventh edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1747
  • Laws.1: [no copies survive], Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
  • Laws.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
  • Backgammon.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (entered at Stationers Hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan June 28, 1743 and advertised June 29, 1743)
  • Backgammon.2:  Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
  • Memory.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (advertised November 17, 1743)
  • Piquet.1.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (entered at Stationers hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan January 11, 1743 and advertised January 12, 1744)
    • Piquet.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
  • Piquet.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1746
  • Quadrille.1.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (advertised October 13, 1744)
    • Quadrille.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
  • Quadrille.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1745
As you can see, Osborne published sixth and seventh editions of Whist, appropriately numbered. He reprinted the Laws of Whist (discussed here) and Backgammon, curiously not numbering either as a second edition. He discontinued the separate publication of Memory (I discuss Cogan's edition here), adding its meager and dangerous content to the end of Whist.6 and Whist.7.

Finally, as I discussed in an earlier essay, Osborne's purchase from Cogan must have included some unsold copies of Piquet and Quadrille. Osborne cancelled the title pages and reissued them under his own imprint—Piquet.1.2 and Quadrille.1.2 are both first edition, second issue. When those ran out, he reprinted the books, appropriately noting them as second editions on the title page. If Osborne reissued any of the other Cogan Hoyles, none have survived.

In the list, I include the date of the earliest newspaper advertisement I was able to locate for the book. You can see that Cogan apparently did not specifically advertise Whist.5 (there were many advertisements during its sale, but they did not mention the edition). Similarly, Osborne did not specifically advertise Whist.7, Piquet.2, or Quadrille.2.

What did these Osborne's individual treatises actually look like as published? I've seen a very few of them in original bindings. They were sold in drab blue unprinted paper wrappers. They were stab sewn through four holes in the paper, rather than sewn through the folds. In nearly all cases, surviving individual treatises have been rebound some time in the past quarter millennium and the original appearance is lost.

The October 26, 1745 advertisement in the London Evening Post introduces the public to Hoyle's new publisher and I'll quote it in its entirety, with my comments interspersed in red:
On the 9th of November will be publish'd, price one shilling only, the sixth edition, of
A Treatise on the Game of Whist. To this sixth edition are added, and never before published, a dictionary for whist, which resolves all the critical cases that may happen to the game; as likewise an artificial memory, or an easy method of assisting the memory of those that play at the game of whist, and several cases not hitherto publish'd.
Osborne's claims of novelty are not accurate. The dictionary for whist first appeared in Whist.3. The "artificial memory...and cases not hitherto publish'd" first appeared in Memory.1 and were new only in the sense that now appeared as part of the whist treatise rather than on their own. 
By Edmund Hoyle, Gent.
Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's-Inn; J. Hildyard, at York; M. Bryson, at Newcastle, and J. Leake, at Bath.
Osborne has engaged some booksellers outside of London to distribute the book, though he remains the sole holder of the copyright. 
At all which places may be had, the following treatises wrote by the above Mr. Hoyle,
A Treatise on the Game of Picquet and Chess, price 1s.
A Treatise on the Game of Quadrille, price 1s.
A Treatise on the Game of Back-Gammon, price 1s.
The Laws of the Game of Whist, proper to be hung up in all families and clubs where the game is play'd, price 1s.
The above treatises were formerly sold for five guineas with the addition, now added, which are offer'd compleat at 1s. each, or 5s. the whole bound; and those that take the whole together, have the binding gratis in a neat pocket volume: any merchant or tradesman that will take a number of these treatises to send abroad, shall have a large profit allowed them.
While Whist.1.1 sold for one guinea, Cogan lowered the price of Whist.2 to 2s. after the piracies. Cogan's other prices were Memory 1s. 6d., Laws, Backgammon, Piquet, and Quadrille 2s. 6d. each. Osborne is misrepresenting the former prices.
The offer to sell to foreign distributors is likely to be similar to the arrangements with Hildyard, Bryson and Leake.
N. B. Whoever pirates any of these works will be sued; the proprietor has already obtained an injunction against nine persons for pirating, and selling pirated editions of one of them: The author has thought proper to inform the publick, that no copies of these books are genuine, but such are as sign'd by him.
There had been no piracies since March 1743. Hoyle was under contract to sign all the books (see my article, especially page 144). Osborne, like Cogan, found the autograph to be a compelling marketing point. 
With this and the previous post as background, and some bibliographical theory coming in the next essay, I will be ready to discuss the Osborne collections—"5s. the whole bound...the binding gratis in a neat pocket volume"—a real headache for bibliographers.


1It is important to distinguish the nature of the Osborne collections from that of his 1748 Mr. Hoyle's Treatises. The collections consist of four or five individually printed works that also happened to be sold bound together. From 1745-7, a bibliographer needs to address both the individual treatises and the collections. Beginning in 1748, Hoyle was printed only as a single work and is bibliographically more straightforward, although you should not be surprised to learn that different complications arise.

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