The Amenities of Card-Game Rule-Booklet Collecting and Kindred Affections: Angelo J. Lewis ("Professor Hoffmann"), John Leighton ("Luke Limner"), James Hogg ("Portland"), and Others

In 1918, A. Edward Newton’s The Amenities of Book-Collecting and Kindred Affections was published.  Probably it is more frequently known simply as The Amenities of Book-Collecting, and that is probably a good thing.  Either way, though, that has to be one of the worst titles ever, for a book on book-collecting.

The two words I have problems with in this context are”amenities” and “affections.” Maybe Newton meant “the pleasantness of book collecting and related fields.”  I don’t know whether he explains that anywhere, but it is too late for me to change my mind about it.

Then there is the fact that it is unclear as to whether he is talking about the amenities of those kindred affections, or whether “kindred affections” is a separate topic.  The implication is that “kindred affections” is a topic of its own, for the title page shows “and Kindred Affections” in smaller type.  Yet, I don’t think that is what he meant.  I think he meant “The Amenities of Book Collecting and the Amenities of Kindred Affections.”

Now that I have taken a bunch of potshots as Newton’s book, it may be poor form for me to base the above title on his title, but, oh, well.

This post was originally written for my now-private blog about the Victorian-era magazine entitled London Society.  In it, I tied together London Society and the card-game rule-booklets published by Charles Goodall and Son.  (That explains the London Society “flavor” of this post.)  I draw three connections between London Society and the Goodall booklets.  Anyway . . .

First, a number of those rule booklets were written by London Society-contributor Angelo J. Lewis (1839-1919), starting in 1895.

Secondly, Luke Limner (John Leighton, 1822-1912) designed the covers of at least a few of the Goodall rule-booklets.  Limner also designed the main cover for the London Society separate issues, and he also designed the cover for the Christmas Number for 1870 of James Hogg’s English Society — which was somewhat related to London Society.

Also, there is the remote connection that James Hogg (1829-1910), under the pseudonym of Portland, edited a book on whist.  (This does not really connect the Goodall booklets with London Society.  But it does connect playing cards with the first editor of London Society.)

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