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.

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