Comments on the illustrations of card-game rule-booklets in Mike Goodall’s year-2000 book on the Goodalls

In this post, I want to talk a little about Mike Goodall’s year-2000 book on the Goodalls. As I have mentioned before, the book does not have an ordinary title page, and the cover seems to use a Goodall advertisement as part of the title on the cover (which is attractive, to be sure, but which is a little awkward for stating the title).  The title could be stated as Goodall’s Playing Cards:  The Family and the Firm 1820-1922. Or, from the top of the contents page, one might use Charles Goodall & Son – 1820/1922.

I want to make comments about the illustrations relating to Mike Goodall’s Chapter 6 in the above-mentioned book.  The chapter is called “Publications by Charles Goodall & Son.”

The chapter begins on page 35 (and ends on page 39), but page 34 includes black-and-white reproductions of the front covers of nine card-game rule-booklets, at least eight of which are early (the possible exception being a copy of Whist for All Players, by Captain Crawley, which is probably twentieth century).  The two copies of Bezique, and the Rubicon Bezique, are not too unusual.  But the remaining five (on Check, Ace Major, Napoleon, and Whist [two earlier editions of Whist for All Players]) are all extremely unusual and basically are not seen at all.  (At least, I have never seen copies anywhere else, other than in Jessel, or in the Bodleian Library catalogs.)  As I have mentioned before, it appears that even Jessel did not own a copy of the Ace Major booklet.  I did not find it in Jessel, and I did not find it in the Bodleian Library catalogs.

Page 36 of Mike’s book depicts twelve more covers.  In my collection, I have duplicates (or semi-duplicates, not necessarily identical, but pretty close) of only six or so.  Page 38 shows two more, including one I have never seen.  Page 38 also shows three items which appear to be leaflets, one on Bridge, one on Whist, and one on Quinto.  I’m not sure how scarce those are overall, but the Qunito item is definitely scarce.  (I believe I have two copies of the Bridge item, and I think I have seen two others for sale.)

The quality of reproduction of the covers is not necessarily the best, and they are black and white. However, they are mostly quite clear and sharp, and as a sampling of many of the scarcer items, I would say that the illustrations are greatly successful in spite of any drawbacks, and I would say, overall, “excellent job.”

The book, by the way, is 192 pages long, and it includes a great deal of information on Charles Goodall & Son.  I refer to my copy frequently, and I would not like to be without it.

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