Comments on Professor Hoffmann’s “Progressive Whist, Hearts, & Euchre,” [1902], and on later editions

The catalog of the Bodleian Library lists three basic versions of Professor Hoffmann’s Progressive Whist, Hearts, & Euchre, each with a different title, as follows:

Progressive Whist, Hearts, & Euchre, [1902]  (Jessel shows the same date, but without brackets or parentheses.)

Progressive Whist, Bridge, Hearts, and Euchre, [1904]

Progressive Card Games.  Whist, Bridge, Hearts, Euchre, and Solo-Whist, 1907

That represents a pretty logical progression.  First, three card games were covered. Later, Bridge was added.  Later still, Solo-Whist was added.

I have never seen a copy of the first of these three.  Jessel lists that book and shows that it has 19 pages.

I have a copy of the second one (or at least one that fits the description above).  The last page of text is page 25.  The Bridge section is five pages.  (One might have expected that he booklet would be 24 pages, since the first edition had 19 pages.)

I do not have the 1907 edition, which adds Solo-Whist.  However, I have a later printing, undated, but circa 1918 or later (based on the fact that it lists the 1918 A Compendium of Dominoes in an advertisement on the inside front-cover.)  The front cover shows (in part) Progressive Whist, Bridge, Hearts & Euchre by Professor Hoffmann.  (That much is the same on my other copy, which also says Price Sixpence.)

The title page of my c. 1918 (or later) copy reads, in part:









. . . and so on.

The booklet contains a “Preface to the Second Edition.”  That page also has a  brief note from the publisher, regarding the addition of Solo-Whist.  I would assume that the Solo-Whist part was not written by Hoffmann, though I am not positive.  The main part of the second-edition preface is almost (but not quite) identical to the “Preface” in my other copy.

Of course, none of that makes much sense to me.  What would make sense is if the [1902] edition had a Preface to the Second Edition.  Then the 1907 version could reprint that, with the same title, or it could show a revised version called Preface to the Third Edition.  (Of course, I don’t know exactly what the 1907 version has — I am tentatively concluding that it is quite similar to my later, undated copy.)

The earlier of my two copies is a beautiful booklet, though without gilt edges.  The later one has gilt edges, but that is the only respect in which it is superior to the other.  The typography of the title page appears demonstrably worse.  The paper appears inferior.  The format is just a little taller, which in the case of card-game rule-booklets is not (in my view) a good sign.  All of this goes to show that, even with the scarcer rule-booklets, some are better than others!

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