“THE WORD ‘HOYLE’ CAME TO BE USED AS REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY BOOK ON GAMES”: 1759 EDITION OF MR. HOYLE’S GAMES IN CONTEMPORARY CALF, SIGNED BY HOYLE AND THE PUBLISHER
HOYLE, Edmond. Mr. Hoyle’s Games of Whist, Quadrille, Piquet, Chess, and Back-gammon, Complete. In which Are Contained, the Method of Playing and Betting, at Those Games, Upon Equal, or Advantageous Terms. Including also, the Laws of the Several Games. London: Printed for Thomas Osborne, et al., circa 1759. 12mo, contemporary full brown calf gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, raised bands, later red morocco spine label. $1650.
Eleventh edition of this popular compendium of game rules, signed by both author and publisher.
“Hoyle and his teaching are spoken of in the Gentleman’s Magazine of February 1755, in Fielding’s Tom Jones, in Alexander Thomson’s poem on ‘Whist’ (1792), and in Byron’s Don Juan, which first appeared in 1821… Hoyle was the first to write scientifically on whist, or indeed any card game. His Short Treatise soon became popular. He was a careless editor, but possessed a vigorous style of writing and much originality. He seems to have profited by the experience of the best players of the day, and introduced many improvements in his successive editions… The book has been frequently reprinted down to recent times. The word ‘Hoyle’ came to be used as representative of any book on games” (DNB). First published in 1742. The 11th edition is undated, but is presumed to have been published in 1759, since new editions appeared roughly every three years and the tenth edition was issued in 1755 and the 12th in 1761. The book was popular in pirated editions, so “for many years every genuine copy bore the signature of Hoyle” (DNB). In addition to bearing Hoyle’s signature, this copy also bears the signature of publisher Thomas Osbourne. Library stamp.
An about-fine copy.