Observations regarding early printings of Cavendish’s “The Pocket Guide to Bezique”: Part 2

Note:  The proofreading on my bibliography of Professor Hoffmann booklets continues. It actually is going a little beyond straight proofreading, since it has involved some revisions. I have tried to make the text a little more, oh, maybe succinct, or compact. This has had the impact of eliminating one or two pages, which is good. But I could not simply shorten the book (have it be fewer pages), because that upsets the apple cart in other ways. (As a made-up example, if I eliminate two pages at the beginning, then almost all of the table of contents has to be changed, and it will also make certain page-references in the text inaccurate.) So I have had to do “clever things” to keep almost all of the text on the correct pages, like adding images and perhaps rearranging one or two. But the amount of work left is quite finite and should not take more than maybe a week or so.

I want to start this post by saying that my interest in the De La Rue booklets is pretty subdued compared to my interest in the Goodall booklets. One of my early posts discussed in detail some of the reasons why I think Goodall booklets in general are a superior subject for collecting. Of course, it is all pretty subjective. I think the main thing I find curious about the De La Rue booklets is how little real interest there seems to be in them overall. That is especially interesting as to the Cavendish booklets, because Cavendish was huge in his day.

Professor Hoffmann, in his Preface to Hoyle’s Games Modernized, says, “To the present generation the name of Edmond Hoyle conveys but a vague meaning,” and later he adds, “Hoyle was in fact the ‘Cavendish’ of his day….”

This was in 1898.

Get it? Hoffmann is saying, you may not know who Hoyle was , but he was sort of an early-day Cavendish. You know all about Cavendish, and Hoyle was kinda like him.

Well, today, I suspect that, if anything, the situation is reversed. I doubt if many know who Cavendish was, but Hoyle, well, he’s like Shakespeare, and his name lives on and on.

Okay, I suppose that the preceding paragraph is just a guess. I have NO IDEA of how well-known Hoyle is to the general public today. And honestly, I don’t know if Cavendish is as poorly known as I think he probably is.  After all, though, he died in 1899, and that has given many years for his books to fall into obscurity, and for other experts to carry on. I guess we mainly think of Cavendish as a “Whist” guy, and my impression is that Whist became largely passé not so long after Bridge arrived on the scene.

Anyhow, in this post I hope to continue to show that Cavendish’s The Pocket Guide to Bezique is quite a complicated booklet, as far as its publishing history and revisions go.

First, below is an image of all, or almost all, of the examples of the booklet that I have in my collection. It’s “only” seven copies, and I suppose a few of you guys do have more than that. (Scroll down.)

Spoil Five 7 19 17 copy.jpeg.

Kind of interesting to see them laid out like that.  Obviously, the sixteenth edition is red, with one color of ink, while the others are blue, with black and red ink. Sorry De La Rue, but you are not fooling anyone.  Yes, you kept the black and red, but obviously this was a cost-saving measure that resulted in an inferior appearance.

The booklets are arranged chronologically, and the two at the upper-left are dated 1869.

So, now what is the really interesting thing about these booklets? Just this: There are at least FIVE DIFFERENT TEXTS represented among the seven booklets.  Now the differences are not necessarily great, but texts are different. This is demonstrated by the following scans relating to five of the booklets.


I have marked up the scans.  The color-coding is pretty simple. The blue represents the corresponding sections (or at least the general areas) of text in three different booklets.  The red indicates the corresponding sections (or general areas) of text in two booklets. Likewise, the green. Likewise, the orange.

The areas correspond, but the text has changed from one booklet to the next as shown by the boxed areas.

These are not intended to show all the changes.

I think that concludes this post!

Bez 1869 1869sec fifth copy cropped copy cboxed copy aaa.jpg

Bez sixth sixteenth copy boxed copy corrected.jpg

—Tom Sawyer

July 20, 2017

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Observations regarding early printings of Cavendish’s “The Pocket Guide to Bezique”: Part 1

Note: I am still spending a moderate amount of time in proofreading my bibliography of Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets. Some of the miscues I have found are interesting. For instance, I thought I had moved the placement of a footnote (a rather long one), but somehow I did not remove it from the original place. In another case, I didn’t remove a footnote to which a text reference had been removed. However, most of the problems are quite minor, though they may be rather time-consuming.

Oh, well.

Anyhow, I want to say a few things about Cavendish’s The Pocket Guide to Bezique. The online catalog of the Bodleian Library lists 13 examples of the booklet, and it shows three of them as having being from Frederic Jessel’s collection: an 1869 edition (no edition stated), an 1872 sixth edition, and a 1900 fifteenth edition.

Really?  Jessel only had three copies, yet somehow the library has another ten copies? Obviously, I think some of the others were Jessel’s as well.

Another thing: Jessel shows the ninth edition as a revised edition. Yet I don’t see a ninth in the Bodleian catalog.

Here is another surprising (to me) thing. The catalog lists six examples of the sixteenth edition, ranging in date from 1908 to 1925. (Specifically: 1908, 1910, 1913, 1918, 1919, and 1925.)

To some extent this implies that those years all represent reprint years for the booklet, in which the text did not change.

This suggest a solid logic that is ordinarily unthinkable in the production of card-game booklets. It would imply that with each uptick of an edition number, some actual revision took place!

This tends to run counter to what one might assume from consulting Jessel, who notes that the 1888 ninth edition was revised, implying (to me) that it was the first revision, or at least that the second edition (for which he makes no such note) was not revised. I think, though, it was the first major revision.

On the other hand, assuming that De La Rue was following the “logic” referred to and printed an unrevised  sixteenth edition in 1925, it is a little misleading (to a naive, ingenuous person such as me), if it was the same as a sixteenth edition printed in 1908. My own interpretation would have been:  “I see. It’s a sixteenth edition, 1925. If there is a book with an earlier date, it must be the fifteenth edition, or a lower-numbered edition.”

Also, I just quickly compared two copies of Cavendish’s The Pocket Guide to Cribbage. One is a third edition, 1886, and one is a fifth edition, 1899. This was a superficial comparison, but I did not see any differences in wording of the text, though I noticed two places where type was fixed or reset. The later printing is on thicker paper, though, and (in addition to the changes on the front cover concerning date and edition) the inside back-covers are different.

So, anyway, the two examples of The Pocket Guide to Cribbage look pretty much the same, but according to the “logic” above, one would have expected the fourth-edition text to differ from that of the third, and the fifth to differ from the fourth (and from the third, of course, presumably).

Below is an image of the front cover of an example of a sixteenth edition of The Pocket Guide to Bézique.

I hope to continue this discussion tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 10.59.11 PM.png

—Tom Sawyer

July 19, 2017

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My earliest Cavendish booklets . . .

Last I went through my Cavendish booklets (published by De La Rue), or most of them. I was surprised at how long ago some of them were printed. During the past few years, I have not looked much for Cavendish booklets on eBay or elsewhere, but still I cannot remember seeing much, if anything, recently, in the way of early ones (like from the 1860s and 1870s, and maybe 1880s).

I do see ten Cavendish booklets on the Games et al website, including a number that have GOT to be rare. It looks like three or so (not necessarily rare ones) date from the 1860s or 1870s (including The Pocket Guide to Go-Bang, which I assume is one of the rare ones, but which as far as I know does not involve playing cards).

Anyway, last night separated out a lot of my early ones.  Below is a scan of the front covers.  The dates in the top row are:

1865, 1867, 1869, 1869

Dates in the bottom row are:

1873, 1884, 1885, 1886

Scan Bought from Games et al 2.jpeg

—Tom Sawyer

July 18, 2017

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Update on my forthcoming bibliography of Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets . . .

Well, my work on the book is now basically finished. I am now involved in proofreading. (I am also prevailing upon my daughter Elizabeth to do some proofreading.) Since this will be (I believe) a softcover printing, it is likely that from this point on things will move rather quickly.

Below are examples of a few pages (as they now stand).  First, though, I’ll show the present design for the front and back covers. This may stay the same as it now is, but there is a good chance it will change a little, or possibly a lot. The cards depicted date from before Hoffmann’s earliest booklet, but they look so awesome, I still might keep them in the design.

Until recently I was considering obtaining a pack of Goodall’s Historic Playing Cards and affixing a card to the front of each book.  I had a number of ideas along those lines.  I might still do that, or something like it. Or I might affix a card to the interior of 52 of the copies, and that could make them almost like “numbered” copies. I may like that idea better Or I might just do none of those things!

Format will be 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

Front cover:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 1.17.22 AM.png

Back cover (corrected 7 13 17):

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 11.55.26 PM.png


Contents page:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.19.20 PM copy bq.jpg

Beginning of entry for Rubicon Bézique:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.31.22 PM copyaaa.jpg

—Tom Sawyer

July 12, 2017

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A little change to the title of this blog . . .

For quite a few years now (since apparently December 2010), this blog has been called “A blog about card-game rule-booklets published by Charles Goodall & Son during the period 1868 to 1922.”

David Levy suggested to me (“way back when”) that “rule booklets” might not be the optimal terminology, since few if any of the booklets are simply enumerations of rules, although probably many do include such.

As I recall, I had already been thinking in those terms myself. And pretty soon I largely stopped calling them rule booklets.

(The foregoing is from memory, so it may be somewhat inaccurate.)

Anyway, the web address of this blog is https://rulebooklets.wordpress.com, so there I pretty much set the “rule” stuff in concrete.

But one change that would have been very easy to make would be to change the title by dropping the term “rule-booklets” and replacing it with the word “booklets.”

So, that is what I have done!

Tom Sawyer

June 22, 2017

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Unequivocal answers as to the sequence of the three booklets discussed in the preceding two posts!

Below are scans of the title pages of the booklets discussed in the preceding two posts. They are posted in the correct order of their appearance–which happens to be the C-A-B sequence arrived at very simply (but less conclusively) in the preceding post.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.09.52 PM  CCCCCCCCCCCC

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.10.08 PM  AAAAAAAAAA

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.10.23 PM  BBBBBBBBBB

We know that copy “B” is the last (most recent) of the three, because it has a date of 1911 on the title page. (The dates were not shown in the preceding posts). So the only real question is, “Which came first, copy ‘A’ or copy ‘C?”


a.  Copy A and copy B both have the same inside-front cover. If the third copy’s inside front-cover is different, then it is unlikely to have been sandwiched (chronologically) between the two others. So, they are part of a series that must include C-A, with the whole sequence being C-A-B. (Copy B must be last of the three, because of the title-page date.)

b. Even in a vacuum, the inside front-cover of copy C seems earlier than that of copy A. Copy C mentions Patience, Series 2, and since that book was probably being phased out (in deference to Selected Patience Games), that advertisement seems earlier than the one in the other two booklets.

c.  If that were not strong enough proof, note the following.  All three booklets have seven pages of advertisements in the back. The ads in copy A and copy B are identical, or seem so.  There is some overlap with the ads in Copy C, but the ads in copy C are largely very different. It would make little sense for the publisher switch horses for the second 1909-copy, and then go back to the original horses (first 1909 copy) for the 1911 copy.

So, that is my conclusion.

—Tom Sawyer

June 14, 2017

A sort of P.S.:

There are some anomalies that might challenge the foregoing, though I don’t really think so. Here are transcriptions of a part of each title-page, in what I believe to be chronological order, with comments.

Booklet C:

The Book of Card and Table Games,”

Hoyles Games Modernized, &c.

Note: That is a little odd, as one would expect the closing quotation-mark to be after the comma that follows “Modernized.”

Booklet A:

The Book of Card and Table Games,

Hoyles Games Modernized,” &c.

Note: That makes the change in placement, but it deletes the quotation marks from the first title! No consistency!

Booklet B:

The Book of Card and Table Games,”

Hoyle’s Games Modernized,” &c.

Of the three, this version (1911) is the best.

—Tom Sawyer

June 14, 2017

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A quick analysis of the chronology of the “Selected Patience Games” booklets discussed in the preceding post . . .

Note: If you want to try to figure out the sequence on your own, you should look at the previous post before you look at this one.

Here (in smaller form) are the same images as in the preceding post. The question was, “In what sequence were these published.”

Here are a few initial comments.  In my next post, I will state a more definitive answer, based in part on information not visible in these images.

I am identifying them as A, B, and C.  That is the sequence in which they were shown in the previous post. Actually I used multiple letters, to make it more obvious.

Post first Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 10.33.47 PM copyaaa AAAAA

Post last Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 10.36.59 PM copy aa BBBBB

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 10.36.28 PM copy CCCCC

One quick way of approaching this would be as follows. B looks as though it is printed on cheaper paper than the others (which might tend to make it later), so the sequence is either A-C-B, or else C-A-B.

Booklet C lists Patience, Series 2, along with Selected Patience Games. Since it is reasonable to assume that, at the time, Patience, Series 2, was being phased out in favor of Selected Patience Games, one may assume that a booklet that lists Selected Patience Games but not Patience, Series 2, was published later. This reasoning suggests that booklet C appeared before booklet A, and I arrive at this sequence:  C-A-B.

Are there other things here that support this? Yes. Since A and B have identical book lists, they probably were part of a three-booklet series that includes an A-B sequence, or a B-A sequence. under this logic, the correct sequence (without looking at anything else!) would be either C-B-A or C-A-B or B-A-C or A-B-C. And, indeed, the C-A-B arrived at earlier  is not disproven by this. So C-A-B is still the frontrunner.

I expect to get into this further in my next post!

—Tom Sawyer

June 10, 2017

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