Thursday, September 29, 2011

Toward a bibliography of books published by Francis Cogan, bookseller (part 1)

This is the second of three essays on my research into Francis Cogan—the first was biographical, while this and the next focus on his publishing output. I would love to see someone write a bibliography of books published by Francis Cogan. This essay and the next, together with the work behind it would provide a useful starting point.

I don't know that I've ever seen a bibliography of an 18th century bookseller. Authors, surely. As for printers, there is Patricia Hernlund's work on Strahan, Keith Maslen's work on the Bowyer firm, and works by Sale and by Maslen on Samuel Richardson. It would be fascinating to see a scholarly bibliography of a bookseller, especially a failed one such as Cogan. Perhaps the reason that there is no bibliography of a bookseller is that it is surprising difficult to identify a publisher's body of work, as you will learn from these two essays.

The obvious starting place to find Cogan's books is to look in ESTC for those that bear his imprint. There are slightly fewer than 100 books printed "for" Cogan, many of which were printed for others as well, indicating that Cogan had only a share of the copyright. There are a few books from early in Cogan's career that are "printed for" another bookseller, and "sold by" Cogan and others. That imprint suggests that the first bookseller was the copyright owner and Cogan was a distributor.

Remaining are books which Cogan published but which do not bear his name—as you can imagine those are much more difficult to identify. Before discussing strategies for finding those books, it is worthwhile to understand why a copyright-owning bookseller would not put his name on the imprint. There are at least two situtations—fictitious imprints and the use of trade publishers—and each is discussed in an article by Michael Treadwell (see references below).

Fictitious imprints are an inconvenient way for the person responsible for publishing a book to conceal his identity. The fictitious imprint is inconvenient because it does not tell the retail customer where to go to buy the book. Motivations might be to escape charges of piracy or sedition. As I discuss in "Pirates, Autographs and a Bankruptcy," one Hoyle pirate used the false imprint "Bath printed and London reprinted for W. Webster" although the book was not first printed in Bath and there was no bookseller named W. Webster. The other Hoyle pirate used the imprint "printed for W. Webb," a frequently-used false name. Ironically, Cogan himself later used the Webb imprint, as we shall see in the next essay.

A trade publisher is a retail bookseller who is willing, for a fee, to put his name on the imprint of a book when the copyright is owned by another bookseller.  The book is available at the shop of the trade publisher, so the customer has an easier time finding it. Treadwell (1982) gives two examples of why one bookseller chose to use a trade publisher. In one case, the book was
...a controversial political pamphlet which, while not quite dangerous enough to justify the inconvenience for distribution of a totally false imprint, was nevertheless worth the slight added expense of paying a publisher to stand between the authorities and the person really responsible. (113).
In the other, the book was a history of a mysterious society, and Treadwell notes "...given what a sad and tiny group the Society actually was, its prestige could only be protected by complete anonymity." Identifying the publisher would have unmasked the society. (113-4)

Cogan used fictitious imprints about a half dozen times and trade publishers at least 40 times, particularly late in his career as his first bankruptcy approached. My hand-drawn chart below (so much more evocative than Excel!) shows the number of Cogan books by quarter from 1729 to 1745. Shading indicates books which bore his imprint; clear bars indicate books without his name. His career really drops off in the late 1730s and as his output increases, he relies much more on trade publishers and fictitious imprints. Indeed for the period 1743-5, most of the books with the Cogan imprint are editions of Hoyle.

Cogan's output by quarter 1729-1745
(click to enlarge)
There must be a story here.

How did I find the books that Cogan published while hiding his identity? More in the next essay!


Michael Treadwell, "London Trade Publishers 1675-1750" in The Library, 6th series, Volume IV, No. 2, June 1982, 99-132.

Michael Treadwell, "On False and Misleading Imprints in the London Book Trade, 1660-1750" in Robin Myers and Michael Harris, editors, Fakes and Frauds. Varieties of Deception in Print and Manuscript, Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies and Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 1989 (reprinted 1996) 29-46.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Biographical Notes on Francis Cogan, Bookseller

(Updated November 16, 2011)

A brief break from bibliography...

When I began blogging, one of the things I hoped to do was to document some of my research that is unlikely otherwise to see publication. Here's a first example.

Bookseller Francis Cogan was Hoyle's first publisher and even with the enormous popularity of Hoyle, the venture was a financial disaster for Cogan as I wrote in "Pirates, Autographs, and a Bankruptcy." As I did research for the article, I wondered how much the Hoyle debacle contributed to Cogan's 1746 bankruptcy. I studied everything I could find about Cogan's life and professional career and concluded that Hoyle was just one in a series of disastrous ventures for Cogan. I'm left with a lot of research about Cogan that I have no plans to publish. This post will be a (rather dry) chronology of facts about Cogan with pointers to a number of primary sources. The next essay will focus on his output as a publisher. Perhaps some PhD candidate will treat this as a starting point for a dissertation!

The father of our Francis Cogan was Francis Coggan (note the different spelling), a bookseller apprenticed to William Miller on July 10, 1689. When Miller died, he continued his apprenticeship with Daniel Browne. (McKenzie 1974) His imprints appear in ESTC from 1697 to 1708. Coggan's will dated December 27, 1707, identifies his wife Margarett, sons Francis and William and daughters Elizabeth and Margarett. He leaves his stock of bound books to be sold at auction, unless his wife "thinks fit to continue on the trade which I would adviser her to doo for some time." (The National Archives (TNA): Public Records Office (PRO)  prob 11/499) After his death in 1707, his wife Margaret Coggan carried on the trade from 1708-9. (ESTC)

Son Francis Coggan was christened on August 26, 1703 at the Temple Church of England in London (parish records). He was apprenticed to Robert Gosling on October 5, 1719 for seven years, for which Gosling was paid £50. He was freed on February 2, 1731 as Francis Cogan, adopting the more familiar spelling. (McKenzie 1978)

March 18, 1729: Cogan set up at the Blue Ball without Temple Bar.

February 26, 1730: Cogan moves his shop to the Middle-Temple Gate, Fleet Street. (Plomer)

February 2, 1731: Cogan takes on Charles Scott as an apprentice. (McKenzie 1978)

January 4, 1733: Cogan and Nourse contract with Theodore Barlow to write a treatise concerning the duty and office of a Justice of the Peace, to be "the same quantity of letter as the first edition of Parish Law", a book by Joseph Shaw, also published by Cogan and Nourse. (British Library, Add. 38728 f.20) Much of his early work appears to be in the field of law, something he likely learned from his master Gosling.

March 15, 1734: Cogan and Nourse buy the copyright to Eliza Haywood's History of the British Theater Volume 1 for 16£ 4s. (Add. 38728 f. 112). He sold his share to Nourse at a trade sale on September 9, 1745 and was paid on September 26. (see below)

1735: Cogan subscribed to Oldmixon, The History of England

November 15, 1739 Cogan, Nourse and others begin to publish a thrice-weely newspaper, The Champion. (Harris)

October 1, 1742: Cogan sells to Nourse his one-half share in the treatise on the Justice of the Peace, and other copyrights and physical books in consideration for Nourse having paid off several debts owed by Cogan including printing charges for a later edition of Parish Law owed to Henry Lintot. (Add. 38728 f. 29) There is substantial archival material leading up to this transaction and it would well be worth further study. It shows conclusively that Cogan was in financial difficulties well before his dealings with Hoyle.

January 26, 1743: Cogan buys the copyright to Eliza Haywood's Memoirs of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman for 26£ 5s. (Cogan v Cave, TNA: PRO C 12/2204/24, m. 1)  As will be discussed more in the next essay, the book was published under the fictitious name J. Freeman.

February 4, 1743: Cogan buys the copyright to Hoyle's Whist for 100 guineas. (Cogan v Chapelle, TNA: PRO C 12/1817/42, m. 1.)

February, 1743 Edward Cave publishes portions of Memoirs of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman in Gentleman's Magazine, prompting Cogan to initiate litigation in April. (Cogan v Cave.)

February 19, 1743: Piracies of Whist are advertised in the General Evening Post.

March 4, 1743: Cogan advertises a second edition of Whist in the Daily Post.

March 18, 1743: Cogan advertises a third edition of Whist in the Daily Advertiser.

April 2, 1743: Irish reprints of Whist are advertised in the Dublin Gazette.

April 14, 1743: In in the middle of the Hoyle debacle, Cogan marries Elizabeth Smith at Saint George, Mayfair, Westminster, London. (George J. Armytage, Register of Baptisms and Marriages at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London: 1889)

April 15, 1743: Cogan files a Chancery action against the Hoyle pirates. (Cogan v Chapelle)

June 11, 1743: Cogan files a Chancery action against Edward Cave. (Cogan v Cave)

June 29, 1743: Cogan advertises a new book, Backgammon and a fourth edition of Whist. He announces that he has obtained an injunction against the Hoyle pirates. London Daily Post and General Advertiser

March 14, 1745:  Cogan obtains a Chancery order for an accounting in his dispute over fees with John Reyner, who represented him in both chancery actions. (Cogan v Cave, Order: Counsel Fees TNA: PRO C33/383 f 215v–216r)

September 9, 1745: In financial difficulties, Cogan offers some of his copyrights at a booksellers' trade sale. The sale was unsuccessful, with most lots going unsold. (catalogue)

September 26, 1745:  One lot that did sell on September 9 was Cogan's half interest in Haywood's British Theater. John Nourse bought the copyright for 2£ 4s. and Cogan acknowledges payment.  (Add. 38728 f. 112)

March 4, 1746: Cogan takes on James Lymans as an apprentice (bad timing, Mr Lymans). (McKenzie 1978)

May 13, 1746: A bankruptcy commission is appointed against Cogan. The accounting records apparently do not survive.

July 10, 1746: Cogan's copyright are sold at a second trade sale for the benefit of his creditors. (catalogue)

August, 1746: A bankruptcy certificate is awarded.

October 10, 1746: Nourse pays Cogan's bankruptcy assignee for copyrights he bought at the July 7 sale.  (Add. 38728 f. 9)

1746-7: Cogan returns to the trade. A number of his books are offered by subscription, perhaps to minimize his capital expenses. 

1752: Cogan is again adjudged bankrupt. As with the earlier bankruptcy, the accounting records apparently do not survive.

1753: Cogan dies.

1758: A dividend was paid from Cogan's estate the his creditors under the second bankruptcy.

As I said, I don't plan to take this any further. There are a lot of pointers to wonderful primary sources illustrating Cogan's troubled career. What I am struck with is how long it took after the two piracies for Cogan to bring his actions at Chancery. By way of comparison, when the Tonsons, among the elite booksellers, sought an injunction for the pirating of one of their properties, only ten days passed between the advertisement of the piracy and the filing of the complaint. Cogan waited nearly two months. Could his impending marriage have slowed him down?


Michael Harris, "Literature and Commerce in Eighteenth-Century London: the Making of The Champion" in J. A. Downie and Thomas N Corns, Telling People what to Think. Early Eighteenth-Century Periodicals from The Review to The Rambler. London: Frank Cass 1993, 94-115. (see also footnotes 23-5)

D. F. McKenzie, ed. Stationers' Company Apprentices 1641-1700. Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society 1974.

D. F. McKenzie, ed. Stationers' Company Apprentices 1701-1800. Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society 1978.

Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History, "A Checklist of Bankrupts". Available online, 2007. 

H. R. Plomer, et al, A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers Who were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775. Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society 1930.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Early Dublin editions of Hoyle

I wrote briefly about some of the Irish reprints of Hoyle here. An important point is that the Dublin printings are not piracies because the copyright law, the Statute of Anne, did not apply to Ireland.

Having looked at a complete list of the individual treatises published by Cogan and Osborne, including the Osborne editions reissued as collections, let me now turn toward the Hoyles printed in Ireland from 1743-1745. I use the numbering scheme game.D.edition (there are no reissues, except for collections), where the D refers to Dublin. As usual, you can click on the number to get the full ESTC description.

The list:
  • Whist.D.1: Dublin: the "fourth" edition, printed for George Ewing, 1743 (advertised April 2, 1743)
  • Whist.D.2: Dublin: the "fifth" edition, printed for George Ewing, 1743
  • Whist.D.3: Dublin: the "fifth" edition, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1745
  • Memory.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Backgammon.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Piquet.D.1: Dublin: printed for George and Alexander Ewing, 1744
  • Quadrille.D.1: Dublin, printed for George and Alex. Ewing, 1745
The list is short, but a number of oddities emerge. Let's begin with the publisher. George Ewing published the first two editions of Whist; all others are published by George and his brother Alexander (though the names are abbreviated differently in different books).

first Dublin edition of Whist
(click to enlarge)
Next, let's look at the statement of edition. The first Dublin edition is called the "fourth" while the next two are both called the "fifth". I believe the reason for the "fourth" edition (advertised April 2) is that the text was taken from the London third edition. The third London edition was advertised on March 18 and the fourth London edition on June 29. Further confirmation comes from the text—there are changes to the section on the Laws of Whist in the first four London editions. All the Dublin editions print the laws as they appear in the third London edition. So, I believe that Whist.D.1 was called a "fourth" edition for a good bibliographical reason—it was the next setting of type after the London third. This had the side benefit of making the book appear more current than the then available London edition.

Despite many hours at microfilm readers,I have been unsuccessful in locating newspaper advertisements for any of the other books listed, so I don't have precise dates for Whist.D.2 and Whist.D.3. The text is unchanged from Whist.D.1, but each is a new setting of type. Ewing did the normal thing by incrementing the stated edition for Whist.D.2. Why Whist.D.3 is a stated "fifth" edition is a minor mystery that I'll touch on below.

Finally note the the Ewings never published the separate Laws of Whist designed for framing. 

We learn from the April 2 newspaper advertisement that Whist.D.1 sold for 6½d., a bit more than one quarter of the London 2s. price. Despite the lack of newspaper advertisements, there are advertisements within some of the books that tell something of the publication history. At the end of Backgammon.D.1, an advertisement notes:
Just publish'd by George and Alexander Ewing...price 6½. A Short Treatise on the Game of Piquet...Where may be had by the same author, A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist...price 6½...Also, An Artificial Memory...price 3d.
The implication is that Backgammon and Piquet were published at the same time, but that Whist (presumably Whist.D.1 or Whist.D.2 as Whist.D.3 was not published until 1745) and Memory had been published earlier. This sequence differs from the Cogan publications as his Backgammon preceded Memory.

I'll use an advertisement in the preliminaries of Quadrille to introduce one last book:
Lately published by the same author and sold by George and Alexander Ewing...A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. Price 6½d. An Artificial Memory. Price 3d. A Short Treatise on the Game of Piquet...Price 6½d. A Short Treatise on the Game of Backgammon. Price 6½d. N. B. The above treatises may be had, together with that on Quadrille, all neatly bound together and lettered. Price a British half crown.
The advertisement does not name the book "all neatly bound together", but it appears as The Polite Gamester, printed for G. and A. Ewing, 1745. The title recalls Cotton's The Compleat Gamester, discussed here. It seems likely that Whist.D.3 and Quadrille.D.1 were published at the same time. So, we have a collection of the Ewing pamphlets in a publisher's binding—separately advertised and with a separate title page. Bowers notwithstanding, this is a separate bibliographical entry, a separate issue of the Dublin Hoyles.

Ewing collection of Hoyle's treatises
(click to enlarge)

Recall that on October, 26, 1745 Osborne first advertised all of Hoyle's individual treatises as well as "the whole bound." I can't establish a date for The Polite Gamester, so I don't know whether the Osborne or the Ewing collection came first. Like the Osborne collections, the 1745 Ewing collection can be made up in more than one way. I have seen copies with Whist.D.2 and no collected title page, and copies such as the one above with Whist.D.3 and a collected title page. Thus, there appear to be two issues of the Dublin collection. In 1748 Osborne stopped publishing the individual treatises and therefore collections. In Dublin, there was another set of individual treatises and collections in the early 1750s, but a discussion of those will have to wait for another time.

One final note. There is an owner's inscription, J. W. Rimington-Wilson, on the front paste down pictured above. This copy came from the wonderful Rimington-Wilson library of gaming books that was sold by the Quaritch firm in the late 1920s. In future essays, I'll discuss provenance in connection with gaming literature.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    The Osborne Collections of Hoyle (1745-7)

    updated September 19, 2015 to conform to the numbering scheme used in my online descriptive bibliography of Hoyle) 

     I've discussed Hoyle's individual treatises published by Thomas Osborne and the reasons why I am going to ignore Fredson Bower's generally sound advice and treat Osborne's collections as separate bibliographical items. Before trying to make sense of the Osborne collections, let me begin by reviewing the relevant individual treatises:
    • Whist.6: The sixth edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1746 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Whist.7.1: The seventh edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1747
    • Laws.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Backgammon.2:  Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
      • Piquet.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745) 
    • Piquet.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1746
      • Quadrille.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Quadrille.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1745
    I've omitted all of the Cogan editions, but included Osborne's reissue of his Piquet and Quadrille. Recall the October 26 advertisement in which Osborne offered individual treatises at 1s. each and the full set of five books for 5s. bound. 

    Most of the surviving books from this era turn out to be collections, but with only four titles plus a sheet of the Laws of Whist, how complicated can it be? Well, I've seen 16 examples of the treatises bound together in one configuration or another and the variety is surprising. The chart below summarizes copies I have examined, listed in the order seen.

    I hope the data are reasonably clear, even if conclusions are not.
    • The owners are either individuals, or institutions identified by ESTC library codes—here the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (NvLN), the University of San Francisco (CFU), the British Library (L) and the Bodleian Library at Oxford (O).
    • I listed the titles in the order in which they appear in each book. Two of the books are made up of three titles only, and I chose to leave the first column blank, as all other copies had Whist as the first title. All of the titles appear on the Osborne list above, with the exception of Whist.7.2, about which more later. 
    • If Laws.2 is present, it appears after the whist treatise, so that column appears after the first title. The column indicates whether the Laws.2 is present ("y"), absent ("n"), or removed ("r"). A blank represents a bibliographer's nightmare—my nightmare. With some help, I learned to recognize that the laws were removed (see the longer discussion here) only after traveling to some distant libraries. I need to collect more data!
    • Yellow highlighting means the treatise is autographed by Hoyle (and in the case of Whist.7.2, by Osborne, as well).
    Which of these are publisher's bindings and hence separate issues? Which might have been purchased individually and bound by the purchaser?

    visible holes from stab sewing
    (click to enlarge)
    I noted previously that the individual treatises were stab sewn and sold in drab blue papers. Stab sewing is plainly visible in my copy number 6.1, pictured at left. That, together with the fact that the backgammon treatise is absent, suggests to me that the treatises were sold individually and bound by the customer. I came to the opposite conclusion on the NvLN copy with only three treatises. There is no stab sewing apparent and it is the only collection I have seen with no copy of Whist. Further, none of the three treatises present are autographed, another unique find. The most probable explanation is that this was originally a collection in a publisher's binding, but had been rebound at some point without the signed whist treatise. The book is now sadly incomplete. 

    I believe the other 14 copies are all Osborne collections, originally sold in publisher's bindings. There is no evidence of stab sewing and the bindings, at least those that are original, appear to be similar. To get a sense of Osborne's pattern of production, I sorted the remaining 14 by their contents: Whist.6 or Whist.7? Piquet.1.2 or Piquet.2? Quadrille.1.2 or Quadrille.2? The books break into five groups and begin to look a bit more regular:

    The first group has Whist.6 as the only autographed book together with Osborne reissues of Cogan's Quadrille and Piquet. I am told that the copy at the Library Company of Philadelphia, shelf mark Iu Hoyl Allen 333, is identically made up, as is the one at the library of the American Contract Bridge League.

    The next group substitutes Osborne's second edition of Piquet, while the third group has second editions of both Piquet and Quadrille. I've never seen a copy with the Piquet.1.2 and Quadrille.2, suggesting that Piquet might have been reprinted first. On the other hand we have the fourth group, a single copy containing Whist.7.1 (1747) and Quadrille.1.1 (1745) when we know Quadrille was reprinted in 1746. Perhaps it is dangerous to infer the order of printing and all we can infer is that Osborne had mixed inventory on hand from which he created the collections.1

    The data cluster in two other ways. The pattern of autographs varies, with only Whist signed in the first two groups2, all treatises in the third group and all but Piquet generally signed in the fifth. [Aside: Note that this pattern suggests that it was a signed copy of Whist.6 that was removed from the incomplete NvLN copy and it would have belonged to the second group.] Secondly the Laws appear in the third and fourth groups, though I failed to collect all the necessary data. Perhaps with the other groups, the Laws were not bound in, but given separately to the customer. Finally we can see that although Whist, the most popular title, always appeared first, the order of the other treatises could vary.

    There are at least another ten copies in other libraries, but I have not yet seen them or received detailed information from the institution, as the bibliographer's mantra says I must. Unless the additional copies change the story, my plan is to list these five groupings in my bibliography as issues, denoted something like Osborne.A through Osborne.E.

    Finally, an additional word on the curious copy in the British Library. The makeup is typical of the last group, consisting of Whist.7.2, Piquet.2, Quadrille.2 and BG.2 bound together. The whist volume is curious—it is clearly Whist.7.1 with the title page cancelled and replaced with one from the "tenth" edition of Whist, dated 1750! My suspicion is that Osborne discovered this book in his shop in 1750 and felt he couldn't sell the older edition dated 1747 when the current offering was dated 1750. So I believe Osborne put a new title page on the book and sold it as though it were current. Finding more copies might clarify this oddity!

    Well, this has been a long essay, even longer if you consider it along with the previous essays on the Osborne publication of individual treatises and my dispute with Bowers. I hope I have accomplished what I set out to do—to bring some order to a difficult and interesting set of books.


    1As an aside, let me speculate on how Osborne inventoried these books. He had each of the individual treatises printed, folded, gathered, and warehoused. To make up a retail inventory of individual treatises, it is likely that he'd send the binder a small number to be stab sewn and covered in drab blue paper wraps. For a collection, he'd send copies all the treatises to the binder to be covered in leather (without a collected title page). Most of the inventory would remain unbound at the warehouse, explaining the pattern of physical books we see.

    2Hoyle was under contract with Cogan to autograph all of his books for two pence per signature. When Osborne took over the copyright, he paid Hoyle a one-time fee of 25 £ to autograph all books during his lifetime. Given that arrangement, it saves effort for Hoyle to sign only the first work in a collection.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Levy versus Bowers on Collections

    In the last essay, I presented a list of authorized separate editions of Hoyle through 1747. I noted that Thomas Osborne sold Hoyle's works at 1s. each or "5s. the whole bound." The "whole bound" refers to a collection of works which were also separately published. When we start looking at these books in the next essay, interesting complications will arise. But before that, there is a theoretical question—how should these be treated bibliographically?

    They are not separate editions—they are the same setting of type as the separate publications. I believe they are separate issues, and with that view, I find myself at odds with the bible of descriptive bibliography, Principles of Bibliographical Description (Princeton University Press, 1949) by Fredson Bowers. This essay, then, will defend my view against that of Bowers.

    Bowers describes the general problem of collections as follows: published separately but later collected in a nonce edition with a general title-page and published together, with their original title-pages still intact, are for convenience often referred to as 'issued in the collected edition,' but nevertheless they are not re-issues and would not be listed as such in a bibliography. (p90)
    In fact, Bowers would argue that the Osborne collections of Hoyle makes a weaker case for inclusion in a bibliography because they lack a general title page—they are simply the individual treatises bound together with the original title pages. The importance of a change in title page is central to Bowers's view of issue:
    We must take it as a fundamental assumption that, except in the most uncommon circumstances, sheets will not be re-issued without a change of title-page. Unless a different title-leaf is is substituted, we must presume that the book in its altered form was not separately issued at any one time but was added to existing stocks during continuous sale. It is impossible to set up any standards for issue which have any likelihood of uniform and logical application unless the title-page is taken as the prime evidence. (p78, emphasis in original)
    At the risk of challenging the gospel, I disagree with Bowers and feel that Osborne's collected volumes of Hoyles are important books and should be listed in a bibliography as separate issues. While a changed title page is certainly evidence of separate issue, it is really the publisher's intention to create a separate book that determines issue. Bowers agrees with that definition, as one of his criteria for issue is: must comprise a different form of the book planed for sale as a separate publishing venture from the normal issue as a consequence of altered makeup. (p77)
    The collections do have altered makeup and, as is evident from his October 26, 1745 advertisement, Osborne sold them separately at a different price. To me this is separate issue and it will be listed as such in my bibliography.

    Bowers is however quite rigid in what he will accept as evidence of the publisher's intention. He would reject my reliance on the advertisement, claiming that collateral evidence, that is evidence apart from the physical book, cannot be considered in descriptive bibliography:
    The entrance of a book in the Stationers' Register under the name of an author, or public advertisement of the book as his, is in a collateral sense a bibliographical fact, but it is not a fact in the analytic sense. Except in very special circumstances no examination of the book as a material object can prove the truth or falsehood of such statements; hence they are not truly bibliographical because they cannot be demonstrated by bibliographical methods. (p32-3)
    I think that Bowers is just being dogmatic here—he doesn't justify his assertion. Collateral evidence is merely a different sort of proof from the physical and must be evaluated carefully. Certainly I have seen plenty of advertisements for books that were never published or advertisements that disguised the author or publisher. Although collateral evidence is not from the physical book, it can teach us about the physical book and is thus bibliographical. Further, as well shall see in the next essay, in the case of the Osborne collected Hoyle, the evidence of the advertisements is supported by the physical evidence of the books. 

    I've corresponded about this issue with Patrick Spedding, a bibliographer whom I greatly respect. He is the author of A Bibliography of Eliza Haywood; his blog is listed on my blog list at right. He too disagrees with Bowers and lists collected editions of previously published works his the Haywood bibliography rather than relegating them to notes. [Aside: I particularly like the Haywood bibliography because Hoyle's first publisher Francis Cogan also published many of her works!]

    Armed with logic against dogma and with the support of a respected bibliographer, I am prepared to ignore Bowers's bible and will discuss the Hoyle collections as separate issues in the next essay. They are both complex and interesting. Stay tuned!

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    November 9, 1745: The First Osborne Hoyles

    (updated September 19, 2015 to conform to the numbering scheme used in my online descriptive bibliography of Hoyle) 

     Francis Cogan was forced to sell copyrights in 1745 and 1746 because of financial difficulties. Thomas Osborne purchased the Hoyle copyright from him sometime in 1745 and on November 9 of that year, Osborne published his first editions of Hoyle. Their publication history is quite complicated as Osborne experimented with ways to sell the book. He reissued, reprinted, and sold the individual treatises, and also sold them bound together as a collection. On March 8, 1748 Osborne changed his approach—he stopped publishing the treatises individually, but had them printed and sold in a single volume as Mr. Hoyle's Treatises1. The next few essays will discuss the books that appeared in those two-and-a-half years when Osborne sold the individual treatises side by side with the collections. First, the individual treatises.

    Previously, I presented a list of the Cogan Hoyles. To understand the transition from Cogan to Osborne, I reprint the Cogan list below, adding the individual treatises published by Osborne through 1747. As with the Cogan list, this combined list excludes piracies and Irish reprints, but is complete as to authorized editions.
    • Whist.1.1: London: printed by John Watts for the author, 1742, entered at Stationers Hall in the name of Hoyle November 17, 1742.
      • Whist.1.2: The “second” edition, 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
    • Whist.2: The second edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 4, 1743)
    • Whist.3: The third edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 18, 1743)
    • Whist.4: The fourth edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised June 29, 1743)
    • Whist.5: The fifth edition, Printed for F. Cogan, 1744.
    • Whist.6: The sixth edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1746 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Whist.7.1: The seventh edition, Printed for T. Osborne, 1747
    • Laws.1: [no copies survive], Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
    • Laws.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Backgammon.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1743 (entered at Stationers Hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan June 28, 1743 and advertised June 29, 1743)
    • Backgammon.2:  Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Memory.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (advertised November 17, 1743)
    • Piquet.1.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (entered at Stationers hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan January 11, 1743 and advertised January 12, 1744)
      • Piquet.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Piquet.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1746
    • Quadrille.1.1: Printed for F. Cogan, 1744 (advertised October 13, 1744)
      • Quadrille.1.2: Printed for T. Osborne, 1745 (advertised October 26, 1745)
    • Quadrille.2: The second edition. Printed for T. Osborne, 1745
    As you can see, Osborne published sixth and seventh editions of Whist, appropriately numbered. He reprinted the Laws of Whist (discussed here) and Backgammon, curiously not numbering either as a second edition. He discontinued the separate publication of Memory (I discuss Cogan's edition here), adding its meager and dangerous content to the end of Whist.6 and Whist.7.

    Finally, as I discussed in an earlier essay, Osborne's purchase from Cogan must have included some unsold copies of Piquet and Quadrille. Osborne cancelled the title pages and reissued them under his own imprint—Piquet.1.2 and Quadrille.1.2 are both first edition, second issue. When those ran out, he reprinted the books, appropriately noting them as second editions on the title page. If Osborne reissued any of the other Cogan Hoyles, none have survived.

    In the list, I include the date of the earliest newspaper advertisement I was able to locate for the book. You can see that Cogan apparently did not specifically advertise Whist.5 (there were many advertisements during its sale, but they did not mention the edition). Similarly, Osborne did not specifically advertise Whist.7, Piquet.2, or Quadrille.2.

    What did these Osborne's individual treatises actually look like as published? I've seen a very few of them in original bindings. They were sold in drab blue unprinted paper wrappers. They were stab sewn through four holes in the paper, rather than sewn through the folds. In nearly all cases, surviving individual treatises have been rebound some time in the past quarter millennium and the original appearance is lost.

    The October 26, 1745 advertisement in the London Evening Post introduces the public to Hoyle's new publisher and I'll quote it in its entirety, with my comments interspersed in red:
    On the 9th of November will be publish'd, price one shilling only, the sixth edition, of
    A Treatise on the Game of Whist. To this sixth edition are added, and never before published, a dictionary for whist, which resolves all the critical cases that may happen to the game; as likewise an artificial memory, or an easy method of assisting the memory of those that play at the game of whist, and several cases not hitherto publish'd.
    Osborne's claims of novelty are not accurate. The dictionary for whist first appeared in Whist.3. The "artificial memory...and cases not hitherto publish'd" first appeared in Memory.1 and were new only in the sense that now appeared as part of the whist treatise rather than on their own. 
    By Edmund Hoyle, Gent.
    Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's-Inn; J. Hildyard, at York; M. Bryson, at Newcastle, and J. Leake, at Bath.
    Osborne has engaged some booksellers outside of London to distribute the book, though he remains the sole holder of the copyright. 
    At all which places may be had, the following treatises wrote by the above Mr. Hoyle,
    A Treatise on the Game of Picquet and Chess, price 1s.
    A Treatise on the Game of Quadrille, price 1s.
    A Treatise on the Game of Back-Gammon, price 1s.
    The Laws of the Game of Whist, proper to be hung up in all families and clubs where the game is play'd, price 1s.
    The above treatises were formerly sold for five guineas with the addition, now added, which are offer'd compleat at 1s. each, or 5s. the whole bound; and those that take the whole together, have the binding gratis in a neat pocket volume: any merchant or tradesman that will take a number of these treatises to send abroad, shall have a large profit allowed them.
    While Whist.1.1 sold for one guinea, Cogan lowered the price of Whist.2 to 2s. after the piracies. Cogan's other prices were Memory 1s. 6d., Laws, Backgammon, Piquet, and Quadrille 2s. 6d. each. Osborne is misrepresenting the former prices.
    The offer to sell to foreign distributors is likely to be similar to the arrangements with Hildyard, Bryson and Leake.
    N. B. Whoever pirates any of these works will be sued; the proprietor has already obtained an injunction against nine persons for pirating, and selling pirated editions of one of them: The author has thought proper to inform the publick, that no copies of these books are genuine, but such are as sign'd by him.
    There had been no piracies since March 1743. Hoyle was under contract to sign all the books (see my article, especially page 144). Osborne, like Cogan, found the autograph to be a compelling marketing point. 
    With this and the previous post as background, and some bibliographical theory coming in the next essay, I will be ready to discuss the Osborne collections—"5s. the whole bound...the binding gratis in a neat pocket volume"—a real headache for bibliographers.


    1It is important to distinguish the nature of the Osborne collections from that of his 1748 Mr. Hoyle's Treatises. The collections consist of four or five individually printed works that also happened to be sold bound together. From 1745-7, a bibliographer needs to address both the individual treatises and the collections. Beginning in 1748, Hoyle was printed only as a single work and is bibliographically more straightforward, although you should not be surprised to learn that different complications arise.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Bibliography of the Cogan Hoyles

    (updated September 19, 2015 to conform to the numbering scheme used in my online descriptive bibliography of Hoyle)

    My recent essays have strayed from pure bibliography, touching on such questions as how the history of copyright law affected the Hoyle canon and how Hoyle's writing was received in contemporary England. This and the next several essays will return to bibliography, leading to the difficult question of how to treat collected editions of Hoyle. First, I will discuss the early separately published works of Hoyle.

    Below, I present a complete list of  Hoyle's works published by Francis Cogan, plus the first edition of Whist, which Hoyle published himself. I refer to the books by the game covered—if you want to see the full title, click through to the English Short Title Catalogue entry for each listing. [Aside: ESTC is a fantastic resource providing much detail about books printed in the British Isles and North America between 1473 and 1800.]

    After the game, the first number indicates edition and the second number indicates issue (omitted if there is only one issue). I have discussed both terms in earlier essays. An edition refers to all books printed substantially from the same setting of type. An issue is a portion of an edition marketed as a different book generally with a new title page.

    The list:
    • Whist.1.1: London: printed by John Watts for the author, 1742, entered at Stationers Hall in the name of Hoyle November 17, 1742.
      • Whist.1.2: The “second” edition, 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
    • Whist.2: The second edition, 1743 (advertised March 4, 1743)
    • Whist.3: The third edition, 1743 (advertised March 18, 1743)
    • Whist.4: The fourth edition, 1743 (advertised June 29, 1743)
    • Whist.5: The fifth edition, 1744.
    • Laws.1: [no copies survive], 1743 (advertised March 5, 1743)
    • Backgammon.1: 1743 (entered at Stationers Hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan June 28, 1743 and advertised June 29, 1743)
    • Memory.1: 1744 (advertised November 17, 1743)
    • Piquet.1.1: 1744 (entered at Stationers hall in the names of Hoyle and Cogan January 11, 1743/4 and advertised January 12, 1744)
    Two comments. First, the careful reader will note that the numbering scheme here differs from that I used in my article and appendices on the early versions of Whist. In the article I did not use the numbering scheme game.edition.issue, but game.version.sequence, where version refers to changes in the text and sequence refers to chronology within the same text. Note that I haven't changed what constitutes an edition or issue, but only how I refer to the books. The current scheme is best for understanding Cogan's output; the other made for a clearer chronology of the piracies and Irish reprints, not discussed here.

    The second comment leads to a longer discussion. The careful reader of my previous essays may have noticed that when I refer to the edition stated on the title page of a book, I tend to put the edition in quotation marks. The reason is that the stated edition is not necessarily accurate from the point of view of a bibliographer. This essay will discuss the two different whist treatises that are both stated "second" editions, Whist.1.2 and Whist.2.

    How do we recognize these as distinct books? There are no obvious textual differences. At first glance, the page numbering of both looks strange, but identical. Both books have pages numbered 2-86, page 1 being unnumbered. Between pages 10 and 11, both books have six extra pages numbered *5 through *10. Looking more carefully, one notes that Whist.2 has four preliminary, unnumbered leaves; Whist.1.2 has five and an extra blank leaf at the end. The extra leaf in Whist.1.2, pictured below at left is hugely significant. It is the first book to be autographed by Hoyle.

    (click to enlarge)
    The title page on the right is almost identical to Whist.2. It is the same word-for-word and line-for-line, but adds "(Price Two Shillings)" at the bottom.

    The difference in the two books is most apparent from the collation formula, a coded description of a physical book. For a good introductory explanation of the collation formula, I recommend this post in the new blog from the Folger Library called, not coincidentally, The Collation.

    The formula for Whist.2 is quite straightforward. 12o: A–H6 I2. The format is duodecimo (12o), meaning that each printed sheet has twelve leaves or 24 pages. Many pages have signature marks such as A or B2 at the bottom. Looking at these, together with evidence of the binder's sewing, we see that the book is made up of six-leaf sections, called gatherings, labeled A through H. The final gathering labeled I has only two leaves. Each twelve leaf sheet was cut to make two six-leaf gatherings. You can see how each sheet might have been set up on the press in diagrams 27, 28, and 29 here. The nine gatherings would be sewn together by the binder.

    The formula for Whist.1.2 is much more complicated: 12o: A6 (A2+'A2') B6 χ2 (χ2+5) C-D12 E8. Again we have a duodecimo with the first two gatherings A and B again in sixes. Note that there is an inserted leaf signed 'A2' inserted after A2. Then there is an unsigned two-leaf gathering—bibliographers use the Greek chi for a gathering in the middle of a book with no signature mark—with five leaves inserted afterward. Then the book becomes regular—C and D are normal twelve-leaf gatherings, and a short eight-leaf gathering E at the end.Why would anyone make such a crazy book?

    The answer, discussed more fully in my article, has to do with Cogan's response pirated versions of whist appearing in February 1743. On March 4, Cogan advertised a second edition "with great additions." The additions all appear in the beginning of the book and explain why there are inserted page numbers in between pages 10 and 11. The next day, Cogan advertised:
    The Purchasers of the first Edition may have the Additions to complete their Books, on producing that bought of the Author, and paying one Shilling.
    Whist.1.2 is what happens when the owner of the first edition took Cogan up on the author. The first edition has the straightforward collation formula 12o: A4 B-D12 E8. To make up Whist.1.2, the A gathering was removed (setting aside the second leaf A2). The first five pages of the B gathering were removed. A new sheet was printed with new gatherings A and B and those were added to the beginning of the book. The preserved leaf A2 was pasted in after A2 in the new gathering.The means that the seven leaves χ2 (χ2+5) from Whist.1.2 were originally leaves B6-B12 in Whist..11.

    Technical bibliography aside, we have evidence of a monumental tragedy here! Some people who owned copies of the first edition in its elegant deluxe binding (discussed and pictured here) had the book taken apart, the binding lost forever. Cogan added the new material and rebound the book much more modestly. I believe the Beinecke Library copy of Whist.1.2, digitized here, has a Cogan publisher's binding—I've seen a number of Cogan Hoyles in similar paper wraps. Quite a difference and quite a loss!

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Contemporary References to Hoyle

    In the course of my research I have collected many contemporary references to Hoyle in newspapers and literature. Some of these have been frequently and dubiously cited as biographical evidence about Hoyle. Most are clearly fictional, satiric writing and are evidence of Hoyle’s notoriety more than of specific facts.

    I begin with one unfortunate reference, clearly factual, but not relevant:
    The Primate of Ireland has appointed Edmund Hoyle, Esq; Register of the Prerogative Court, a place of 600 £ a year profit. (The Daily Advertiser, December 28, 1742)
    The date is just weeks after Hoyle first published his treatise on whist. This announcement is the source of the claim that Hoyle was educated at the bar, a claim made credible by the fact that his whist treatise is organized into “cases,” much like a legal textbook. The announcement, however, must refer to another Hoyle—the name is not uncommon and our Hoyle was living in London and tutoring whist at the time. There is no documented connection between Hoyle and Ireland. Yet Hoyle’s biography, at least beyond his writing, is so thin that much is made of little. For another example, see my essay “Was Hoyle a Careless Editor?”

    The following verse is typical of a “church versus gaming” dichotomy that frequently appears in contemporary literature:
    On Modern Reading

    Laymen of late with bookish churchmen vie;
    No books, but bibles, unmolested lie:
    Virtue declines, religion loses ground,
    Whilst authors, readers, critics, wits, abound.
    With one consent we into reading give
    And yet with one consent without book live:
    For pure diversion volumes we peruse;
    We read, not to amend, but to amuse.
    Only of gamesters, who with pleasing toil
    Study the Pentateuch of sapient Hoyle,
    (Hoyle’s winning system!) with great truth ‘tis said,
    They read to learn, and practice what they read.

    (General Evening Post of March 19, 1748)
    A 1750 letter, frequently cited in histories of whist, has many satirical elements, so it is difficult to know how much to trust the specifics. Fictional or not, the letter confirms what we know from his own writing, that Hoyle was a whist tutor:
    “Papa made me drudge at whist ‘till I was tired of it; and far from wanting a head, Mr. Hoyle, when he had not given me above forty lessons, said, I was one of his best scholars.” (The Rambler, May 8, 1750)
    In a more obviously satiric letter to another journal, we find further confirmation:
    “Be sure, Sir, to insist particularly on my skill at whist: I have had the honour to be taught that noble game by Mr. Hoyle himself, and not even Lady Lurchwell knows how many cards are out, so well as I do.” (London Daily Advertiser and Literary Gazette, September 16, 1751)
    A 1753 article satirizes ladies memorandum books. The author claims to get a peek at a friend’s book in which she records engagements, expenses, and occasional notes. She writes, “Miss Sharp is a greater cheat than her mamma. Company went before five. Stupid creature Mrs. Downright! never to have read Hoyle!”

    Her planned schedule for one Sunday shows where she stands on the church versus gaming: “If I rise soon enough, St. James’s Church. In the afternoon, to write a defence of Hoyle to Miss Petulant at Bath, who has controverted some of his principles. Lady Brag’s in the evening” And her expenses for the same Sunday, “Lost at card, at Lady Brag’s—47 £ 5 s.” (Adventurer, number 23, January 23, 1753)

    “A letter from a lady to Mr. Hoyle, partly complimentary, and partly objugatory,” appearing in the Public Advertiser of April 4, 1763, begins as follows:
    “Mr. Hoyle, Permit me, sir, to address you with that reverence and obsequious deportment, which is due to the author of a book more read and studied than the Bible. Permit me to add my congratulations to those of the public on your useful and important treatise, concerning the game of whist. Every little helps (as the old woman said when she did something in the sea) my applause, therefore, will be some little adjunct to your universal fame, that name whose hundred throats are hoarse with your praises, yet who still despairs of doing justice to you merit. For my part, I think it would be no more than your due, to erect a statute to you in every town in this kingdom, because nothing on earth redounds so much to the honour, interest, and happiness of a nation, as its being distinguished for a spirit of gaming; which glorious spirit has been greatly supported and increased by your means. It is very much to be lamented, that gaming is not reckoned one of the cardinal virtues, as it is attended with such admirable consequences. By gaming a man acquires a noble contempt of money, the soul is enlarged, and totally disentangled from the weakness of humanity, and that pusillanimous concern and tenderness which some people are apt to entertain for their wives, children, and friends.
    This is of course the “compliementary” part of the letter, which later goes on to criticize Hoyle for not writing about other popular games.

    Inevitably Hoyle was the subject of sermon as well as satire:
    “Let every mother who is blessed with children, make it an indispensable point of infusing the most virtuous sentiments, and chaste ideas into them, from their tenderest infancy…How much better, how more commendable, how more consistent would it appear, in Lady this, or Lady that, to instruct her daughters in such important articles as these instead of introducing them into dissolute company, at twelve or thirteen years of age, with Hoyle’s treatise on Whist in their hands, and suffering them to contract at routs, assemblies, and drums, what it is a crime in themselves to practice. (The Occasionalist, Number 13, November 4, 1768).
    These snippets are a small portion of mentions of Hoyle during his lifetime; perhaps I shall fill another essay with others. Hoyle is a frequent focus for satire, beginning with The Humors of Whist, discussed here and here. Darker is the suggestion that his whist treatise competes with the Bible for public attention—that Hoyle competes with the church. Of course the suggestion is serious only from the religious, and satiric from the gamesters!

    The conclusion is that Hoyle’s writing was extraordinarily popular and these references would have resonated with the contemporary London literary audience.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    The Humours of Whist as a satire of piracy

    In my previous essay about The Humours of Whist, I discuss the play as a satire of Hoyle. The writing is witty and demonstrates an intimate familiarity with Hoyle's Short Treatise on Whist. Even more intriguing are the references in Humours to the publication history of Whist—its piracy and the efforts of publisher Cogan and Hoyle to battle the pirates.

    I discuss the details of the piracy and the efforts to combat the pirates in my article "Pirates, Autographs, and a Bankruptcy: A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist by Edmond Hoyle, Gentleman." It was originally published in Script & Print, 34 no. 3 (2010): 133-61 and is available for download here. To recap the chronology:
    • November 1742: Hoyle publishes Whist privately, selling it for one guinea (21 shillings).
    • February 1743: Hoyle sells the copyright to Francis Cogan for 100 guineas. Two piracies appear, one selling for 2 shillings, the other for less.
    • March 1743: Cogan publishes an authorized second edition selling it for 2 shillings, rather than the 21 he expected. Hoyle begins to sign all genuine copies.
    • April 1743: Cogan (belatedly) obtains an injunction against the pirates.
    • May 1743: The Humours of Whist is published.
    Beginning with the second edition of Whist, Cogan inserts this advertisement:
    This Book having been entered at Stationers Hall, according to Act of Parliament, whoever shall presume to print or vend a pirate edition, shall be prosecuted according to law. (p ii)
    The Humours of Whist opens with a similar warning, styled "The Author's Protest":
    Whereas authors are every day invaded in their properties…be it at the peril of all booksellers, publishers, mercuries, hedge-printers, hawkers, and others, to print or vend any pirated copies, for that they will be prosecuted for the same with the utmost rigour, I having duly entered this my property at Stationer’s Hall and am within an Am’s ace of being honoured with the Royal License. (pp3-4)
    To decode some of the unfamiliar terms:
    • An "am's ace" refers to the roll of double-aces at dice. 
    • Registering a book at Stationers Hall is the first step to copyright protection in 18th century England. 
    • A royal license a stronger form of copyright protection in England—a monopoly from the King to print. A royal license was granted for the King James Bible and The Book of Common Prayer.
    Just as Hoyle autographed authorized copies of Whist, Humours notes "The genuine books published by the author, will be all signed with his name." (p5)

    There is also an epilogue, a dialogue in which the author of Humours negotiates with a bookseller (what we would now call a publisher) for the copyright:
    Book. The copy is but small, sir. 'Twill make but a shilling thing.
    Auth. The treatise on Whist has abundantly less in it, and is sold for two shillings.
    Book. That's true, sir—but you see, 'tis pyrated—Truly, it's a shameful thing those pyrates shou'd be suffer'd in a free country. At this rate, no man is safe in his property—It makes very bad, sir, for both author and bookseller...
    Auth. ...I suppose if I ask you the third part of what was given for the Professor's book, you will not think it unreasonable?
    Book. Alack-a-day, sir, you are greatly out of the way—indeed you are. 
    Auth. ... I think the thing is very well deserving of what I ask, and cannot think of taking any less.
    Book. Pray, consider, sir, the expense of paper, print, stamps, advertisements, and pyrating as I said before; I shall be a great deal of money out of pocket before a penny comes in. ...
    Book. The admirers of the Treatise are a very numerous body, and will scarce read the satire.
    Auth. On the contrary—they will read it thro' curiosity; and the enemies to play of course will do it for its utility. (pp 57-9)
    In fact the author signs the book over to the bookseller, but the echo of Cogan's plight is clear—Cogan paid too much for the Hoyle copyright and suffered when the pirates forced him to lower the selling price.

    I detect one more veiled reference to the Hoyle piracy, though I may be overreaching. By way of background, one of the two printers to pirate Hoyle in 1743 was James Watson. Earlier, Watson had been sued for pirating Alexander Pope’s Dunciad of 1729  and John Gay’s Polly, a sequel to The Beggar’s Opera.  (Sutherland 1936 and 1942) Some copies of both The Beggar’s Opera and Polly include engraved music bound in at the end.

    Now, back to Humours. The author says that if the play should ever be performed (as were The Beggar's Opera and Polly), he has a set of music which can be added to the text:
    A set of curious songs are ready to be clapt in (little inferior, if not equal to any in the Beggar’s Opera) in case the said representation takes place. ( p5)
    It is reasonable to infer that the author of Humours knew that Watson had pirated both Gay and Hoyle. Whether readers would have detected the connection is much more speculative.

    Let me mention one final irony about The Humours of Whist. We don't know the author. Contemporary newspaper advertisements give a hint as to the publisher, but that story will wait for another time. What I do know is that is was printed by Thomas Gardner, a prolific London printer of the mid-eighteenth century. Gardner's name appears nowhere in the book but I recognize his woodblock ornaments, such as the ones pictured at left below. The irony?

    Gardner headpiece in Humours
    (click to enlarge)
    Same headpiece in Piquet (1746)
    (click to enlarge)

    When publisher Thomas Osborne purchased the Hoyle copyright from the near-bankrupt Cogan in 1745, he quickly reprinted all of the Hoyle titles. What printer did he use? Thomas Gardner—the ornaments that appear in Humours also appear in nearly all editions of Hoyle sold from 1745 to 1755.

    • James R. Sutherland, "The Dunciad of 1729" in The Modern Language Review 31:3  (July, 1936) 347-35.
    • James R. Sutherland, "'Polly' among the Pirates" in The Modern Language Review 37:3 (July, 1942) 291-303.