Monday, November 25, 2013

Hoyle's Games Improved (1814): Who was the bookseller Gale?

(updated June 22, 2016 with details about Hoyle's Guide to the Turf)

My last essay, "The Hoyle Copyright in Hoyle's Lifetime (revisited)" resolved a mystery that had long bothered me about the ownership of the Hoyle copyright in the 1760s. This essay untangles a similar mystery a half-century later.

The longish imprint on Hoyle's Games Improved, revised and corrected by Charles Jones Esq. (1814) lists twelve booksellers:
  • W. Lowndes
  • Wilkie and Robinson
  • J. Walker
  • Scatcherd and Letterman
  • Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown
  • Lackington, Allen and Co.
  • W. Stewart
  • B. and R. Crosby
  • J. Richarson
  • J. Mawman
  • J. Asperne
  • R. Baldwin
The handwritten (and often obscure) business records of the Longman firm list shares of copyright ownership for the book. See for example this essay discussing the 1800 edition. The archives note a thirteenth bookseller, with a 1/24 share, who's name appears to be "Gale." Gale never appeared on the imprint of any edition of Hoyle's Games Improved, but it's hard to dispute contemporary business records which record ownership of the booksellers' most valuable assets. Further, shares of ownership determine shares of costs and division of printed books. Who was Gale? Where did his share come from? What happened to it?

 Update (June 22, 2016): Sometimes when Hoyle's Games Improved was published, portions of the book were simultaneously issued with a different title page although generally the same setting of type. The 1814 edition is an example. The first 106 pages were issued as Hoyle's Games of Whist and Quadrille, the first 192 pages were issued as Companion to the Card Table, and pages 460-502 were issued as Hoyle's Guide to the Turf (although Hoyle had nothing to do with the text). The latter work is quite rare, with copies surviving only at the Bodleian and a veterinary library in Hannover, Germany. The German copy has been digitized online and the imprint includes Gale, Curtis, and Fenner. So Gale DOES show up on an imprint.
While I can't establish how Gale came to acquire a share of the copyright, nor why he wasn't on the imprint, I have found records showing that not only did he own a share of Hoyle in 1814, he bought a second piece in 1817. Records also show what happened to those shares.

In the 19th century most of the booksellers trade sales were run by the auction house Hodgson and Co. The catalogues for these trade sales, often annotated with purchaser and purchase price, survive. [See One Hundred Years of Book Auctions. 1807-1907. Being a brief record of the firm of Hodgson and Co. London. 1908. pp19-20, available for download]. Copies of the Hodgson catalogues are available at the British Library, as described here (search for "Hodgson trade sales").

A Hodgson catalogue for May 2, 1817 shows Walker, a name from the 1814 imprint, selling a 1/72 share to a name that seems to read Gale & Co.

Researching Gale in the British Book Trade Index, and WorldCat, I found that Gale did business as Gale, Curtis, and Fenner from 1812-15, and as Gale and Fenner from 1815-1817. Fenner succeeded to the business in 1817, and was not terribly successful, becoming bankrupt in March 1819.

Hodgson auctioned Fenner's copyrights on August 10, 1819. There were two lots of the copyright of "Hoyle's Games by Jones", one for a 1/24 share (the share recorded in the Longman Archives) and the other for a 1/72 share (the May 1817 purchase). There is no annotation showing a purchaser or purchase price as there often is in the auction catalogues. It is likely that Whittaker acquired the shares either at the auction or later--the Longman records show that he owned none of the copyright in 1814 and a large 11/36 share by 1820.

So, Gale DID own a share in 1814 despite the absence of his name on the imprint. He acquired more in 1817. His successor Fenner sold the shares, apparently in connection with his bankruptcy.

Another minor mystery if not solved, then certainly clarified.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Hoyle Copyright in Hoyle's Lifetime (revisited)

I thought I had said everything I had to say about the early ownership of the Hoyle copyright in an earlier essay "The Hoyle Copyright in Hoyle's Lifetime". There was always a little something that nagged me about the information there, and I have finally resolved the nit to my satisfaction.

The chart above, modified from the essay "A Database for the Hoyle Copyright," shows which booksellers owned shares of the copyright from 1745 to 1767. The data is based on imprints (which you can find pictured in the earlier essay) and transactions from the booksellers trade sales. What seemed odd to me was that Stanley Crowder is on the imprint for the "12th" and "14th" editions, but not the "13th". It is possible that he sold his interest in the Hoyle copyright and reinvested later, but that seems strained.

Let us look more closely at the three relevant trade sales: 
  • James Hodges lived until 1795, but left the book trade in roughly 1757. At least his name last shows up in imprints of books printed that year according to ESTC. His stock was sold in a trade sale on July 14, 1757. The surviving catalogue is titled in letterpress A Catalogue of Books in Quires, Being the stock of Mr James Hodges... I hadn't focused on the fact that the sale was for books only, and not copyrights. His inventory of 350 copies of Hoyle's Games went unsold.
  • At another trade sale on April 21, 1763, bookseller Henry Woodfall bought two lots of 1/6 shares in Hoyle, the first for £30, the second for £32 10s., making the full copyright worth £187 10s. The catalogue does not indicate the seller, either in letterpress or, as is often the case, in handwritten annotations. I had assumed that Crowder must have been the seller, as he appeared on the Hoyle imprint in 1760, but not in late 1763. 
  • Thomas Osborne left the trade in 1767, selling his stock and copyrights at a sale on July 28.  His 1/3 share of the Hoyle copyright was broken into four 1/12 shares. John Wilkie bought one for £21, Henry Woodfall one for £22, and Stanley Crowder two for £22 each. In all, Osborne's one-third share sold for £87, making the value of the copyright £261. 
I have now spent more time with the 1763 sale and have concluded that the copyrights offered there belonged to James Hodges. Most of the copyrights listed at the sale were never printed for Crowder and most of the books printed for Crowder in, say, 1762 do not appear at the sale. Most importantly, Crowder was a major purchaser at the sale. The sale must have been of copyrights belonging to Hodges, not Crowder, so that Hodges continued to own the Hoyle copyright until 1763. It also means that even though his name appeared on the imprint of the 1760 "12th" edition of Hoyle, Crowder did not own a share of the copyright.

What was the relationship between Hodges and Crowder that allowed Crowder to republish Hodges' books? It turns out that Crowder was apprenticed to Hodges, and freed in 1755. From 1757 Crowder carried on the business from Hodges' premises at the sign of the Looking Glass near London Bridge. This suggests some economic relationship between the two under which Crowder carried on the business even as Hodges continued to own the copyrights.

With Hoyle, we see a pattern of imprints supporting the view that for a short time Crowder published books owned by Hodges:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1756 (ESTC T87520)
  • printed for three booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1760 (ESTC T88035)
  • Hodges share sold to Woodfall in April 1763
  • Woodfall appears on imprint instead of Crowder in December 1763 (ESTC N4079)
It takes some patience to find other examples. First, you must be able to identify the book in ESTC from the shorthand title given in the trade sale catalogue. Second, you have to find a copyright that actually sold at the trade sale. Third, the book must have been printed at least three times: once for Hodges, once for Crowder between 1757 and 1763, and a third time after the copyright sale. Finally, it is easiest to look at books where Hodges owned a large share of the copyright. Where the copyright traded in shares of 1/36 or 1/48, there can be so many names on the imprint that it is hard to track what's going on.

Here are two more examples. First Ken's A Manual of Prayers:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1755 (ESTC T133227)
  • printed for four booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1761 (ESTC T133221)
  • Hodges copyright sold in 1763
  • printed for six booksellers not including Crowder in 1770 (ESTC T133220)
Second, Martin, Philosophia Britannica:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1752 (ESTC N39108)
  • printed for six booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1759 (ESTC N12262)
  • Hodges share sold in 1763
  • Crowder off imprint in 1771 (ESTC T25345)
I will look for more information about the dealings between Hodges and Crowder. In the mean time, I have convinced myself that despite his appearnce on the imprint of the the "12th" edition, Crowder did not own a share of the Hoyle copyright until the "14th". That leaves my chart simpler and clearer as follows:

Interestingly, the imprint of the "14th" edition of Hoyle's Games published in December 1767, did not reflect the results of the Osborne sale of April. As I noted here, the imprint states the book is printed for Osborne, Woodfall, and Baldwin, but contemporary newspaper advertisements are correct::
Printed by assignment from T. Osborne, for H. Woodfall, R. Baldwin, and S. Crowder, in Patern-noster-row, and J Wilkie, No 71, in St. Paul's Church Yard.
These two examples of imprecise imprints show provide a caveat to my discussion in "Researching Copyright."

I am delighted to have eliminated a little nag that has bothered me for some time.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More from the database: another bad seller

In may last essay, I described the database I had built with many sources of information about the Hoyle copyright. In the past couple of weeks, I have been loading more newspaper advertisements into the database. Rerunning the reports I shared earlier, I have a new example of a Hoyle that remained in print for a long time. Well, sort of a Hoyle...

The book is Dew's Treatise on Billiards, published in 1779. There is not a word of Hoyle's in it, but it must be considered in a discussion of the publishing history of Hoyle. As I discuss in "The most important Hoyle after Hoyle", the 1779 Charles Jones book Hoyle's Game Improved, incorporated a number of other gaming works--William Payne's works on whist and draughts (checkers) and Dew's on billiards.

In "A Research Trip to Cleveland" there is a section on challenges for the Hoyle bibliographer. There I note books written by Hoyle that appear without attribution and books attributed to Hoyle that he or his publishers had nothing to do with. Dew's book represents a third case: it was printed at the same time as Hoyle's Games Improved from the same setting of type used for its appearance there. Perhaps you can imagine the printer saving the pages of type after printing HGI, changing the page numbers and adding a new title page for Dew. Because it is the same setting of type, the separate treatise is bibliographically part of the same edition of HGI, but is a separate issue. It is part of the same business venture and must be treated in a Hoyle bibliography.

As to their reception, HGI sold reasonably well, with the next edition appearing in 1786, seven years later. Dew's treatise was nowhere near as popular. It was never reprinted excepted as part of the Jones Hoyle and advertisements can be found as late as 1794, staying in print for 15 years.

Update December 21, 2014:

Make that 17 years! I just noticed a footnote in the 1796 edition of the Hoyle's Games Improved (p232) "[The Dew] treatise may be had separate, price 1s."