An interesting version of “Cribbage,” by Rawdon Crawley, Bart., published by Goodall . . .

Earlier this year, I was fortunate in being able to purchase, from Games et al, an unusual Cribbage booklet.  First, I will discuss the likely date of the booklet, and then I will discuss the cover.

Oh, even before discussing the date, below are a few images.  First, an image of the front cover:

Next, an image of the back cover:

Next, an image of the inside front-cover, and of the title page:

Lastly, an image of the last page in the booklet, and of the inside back-cover:

So, first, as to the dating . . .

The title page shows two key features which help with the dating.  First, there is the “and Birmingham” on the title page, which places it during the period of 1893 through 1912.

Next, there is the “Ltd.” in the company name.  This places the booklet in 1897 or later.

So, according to the foregoing, the range of possible dates is 1897 through 1912.

Here is a quotation from the post linked-to above, showing the basic information on which the dating is based:

I mentioned that I had duplicates or near-duplicates of certain booklets pictured on page 36 of Mike Goodall’s year-2000 book on the Goodalls.  [. . .]  Jessel shows 1889 for what I presume to be the first edition [of Cribbage].  Mike’s book shows that Goodall’s operation in Birmingham was 1893-1912 [. . .].  Mike also says:  “On the 15th May 1897 it became a limited liability company [. . .].”

John and Ann Sings (of Games et al) state in an email to me that the booklet pictured above is from the first decade of the last century at earliest and that the booklet was included in a Marlborough game set.

The main point of interest (to me) is the fact that the cover appears to be of a very early design.  I suspect that the cover is similar or identical to that of the first edition, but I don’t know that for certain.  The cover does not show “Ltd.,” which originally (before I knew about the title page) had me thinking it was from 1897 or before.

It is definitely similar to covers used on (just as an example) an 1872 The Royal Game of Bezique, which I discussed in an earlier post.

Speaking of “Bart.,” magic-collector J.B. Findlay told (in The Magic Cauldron, No. 23) a relevant story of a visitor to Milton Arlanden Bridges, another great magic collector.  I have edited it slightly:

The late Milton Bridges had a nice tale about the neophyte collector who on looking at a row of books proudly said, “I have that one by Bart.”  The “Bart” referred to a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Letters on Demonology and the spine also had on it besides the author’s name the contraction “Bart” meaning Baronet.

Of course, Rawdon Crawley is a pen-name of Charles Frederick Pardon (see Jessel).  As far as I can tell, though, the entire name and description (Rawdon Crawley, Bart., of Queen’s Crawley, Hants.) is based on Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair.

Here is part of what Wikipedia says about Thackeray’s Rawdon Crawley:

The well-meaning Rawdon does have a few talents in life, most of them having to do with gambling and duelling. He is very good at cards and pool, and although he does not always win he is able to earn cash by betting against less talented gamblers.

It appears that Vanity Fair was first published in book form in 1848.  It seems strange to me that the Wikipedia article about the book focuses heavily on the “parts” version, and the article proper does not appear to mention any 1848 edition.

—Tom Sawyer

October 15, 2012

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