The earliest Professor Hoffmann booklets published by Goodall were first published in 1895. These included Bridge Whist, Ecarte, Piquet, and Rubicon Bezique. Back in 2011, I discussed, in separate posts, the sixth and seventh editions of Professor Hoffmann’s Rubicon Bezique. I want to return to that topic now.
I suspect that first editions of all four of those booklets would be considered quite scarce. I do have in my collection 1895 copies of Ecarte and Rubicon Bezique, but I have never seen 1895 copies of the other two for sale. As I have discussed elsewhere in this blog, the only 1895 copy of Bridge Whist that I know of is in David Levy’s collection. It appears that even Frederic Jessel did not have a copy of any 1895 Bridge Whist.
Anyhow, I recently was examining my sixth and seventh editions of Rubicon Bezique, and I was struck by certain interesting differences between the two. In earlier posts, I stated my tentative opinion that the sixth edition appeared circa 1907, and that the seventh edition appeared circa 1909. I still think those are pretty good dates.
I am going to post a series of pairs of images, to demonstrate certain similarities and differences. In all cases, the top image represents the sixth edition.
First, the front covers. Both are identical. (Someone has place a few red “dots” within the title on the seventh edition.)
Next, below are images of the inside front-cover, and the title page, of each book. Here things become more interesting. At first glance, the inside front covers appear the same in both, but a closer examination reveals that the seventh edition lists no fewer than four titles not in the list of the sixth edition, namely Rubicon Bezique, Bridge Varieties, Quinto, and Five Hundred. In the earlier posts, I discussed these differences somewhat.
Obviously, the paper is darker in the seventh edition. I think that is the way it was originally, but in any event the seventh edition is very slightly thinner than the sixth.
Next are images of pages near the back of the booklet. (The verso of the page on the right is the final page of the booklet.) The seventh edition substitutes an advertisement mainly promoting Draw-Bridge, as the left-hand page.
Finally, below are images of the final page of the booklet and of the inside back-cover. We find that the seventh edition jettisons the Patience-related advertisement, and replaces it with one of the advertisements that was found a little earlier in the sixth edition.
February 16, 2016