Comments on the very scarce “The Game of Napoleon,” by Captain Crawley, published by Goodall, 1878 — images courtesy of Edward Copisarow . . .

In his 1905 bibliography, Frederic Jessel shows the following listing:

jessell napoleon 12 18 12 2

This refers to one of the scarcest Goodall card-game booklets, The Game of Napoleon.  The Bodleian Library catalog lists two copies of the booklet, which I would tentatively assume are both published by Goodall.  On is an eighth edition, circa 1915, and the other is almost certainly the very copy from which Jessel made his description, since it is noted in the catalog that it was Jessel’s.

I find it interesting that there were apparently (at least) eight editions (or probably a better term would be “printings”).  One reason it is interesting is that I have never seen a copy of the booklet for sale.

Below is an image from The Bookseller, March 4, 1879, which is one of a small number of references which may easily be located on Google Books relating to the booklet:

The Bookseller 3 4 79 2

Below, through the kindness of Edward Copisarow, are images of an example of The Game of Napoleon that resides in his collection.

IMGP7273 napoleon adj

IMGP7272 adj napoleon

This would be, I believe, one of the earliest uses of the basic cover design shown — a design which, with variations, was used by Goodall for over forty years, and which became their standard cover in later years.  It is essentially the same as the cover of The Game of Ace Major, except that the words “PRICE SIXPENCE” are included, and corresponding design components were altered accordingly.

—Tom Sawyer

January 3, 2013

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