“THE WORD ‘HOYLE’ CAME TO BE USED AS REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY BOOK ON GAMES”: 1786 EDITION OF HOYLE’S GAMES IMPROVED, IN CONTEMPORARY SHEEP
(HOYLE, Edmond) JONES, Charles, editor. Hoyle’s Games Improved. London: Printed for J.F. and C. Rivington, et al., 1786. 12mo, contemporary full brown sheep rebacked, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $600.
Third Charles Jones edition, revised, improved, and enlarged from the original Hoyle’s Games, of this popular compendium of game rules, with instructions on betting and the game laws at several prominent British gambling establishments.
“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). The first edition of Hoyle’s Games was published in 1742. The book was popular in pirated editions, so “for many years every genuine copy bore the signature of Hoyle” (DNB). By the last quarter of the 18th century, the Hoyle copyright had expired. Thus, in 1775, the booksellers who had owned the copyright brought out the first Charles Jones edition (so named for the editor, Charles Jones). The Charles Jones editions were substantially enlarged with information of interest to game aficionados. In this 1786 third edition, for example, Jones includes information on betting and on the laws of games at popular gambling venues such as Whit’s, Stapleton’s, and the Star and Garter. Bookplate. Owner signatures.
A few spots of foxing, offsetting to edges of preliminaries, light wear to original sheep. An extremely good copy.