The Edmond Hoyle Home Page

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by David Levy
updated July 21, 2014.
Copyright © 2011-4 by David Levy. All rights reserved.


Welcome to the Edmond Hoyle Home Page!

Edmond Hoyle (1679-1769) was the first English writer on the rules and strategy of popular games. He wrote about whist, backgammon, piquet, chess, quadrille and brag, as well as a book about probability.

I have been studying the writings of Edmond Hoyle over the past several years with the intention of publishing a descriptive bibliography of his works through 1800.

At long last, I have updated the Wikipedia page for Hoyle. There is much more to do, but I've eliminated a lot of the erroneous information and set out an accurate history of his publications. Good biographical information about Hoyle is quite scarce. Much of what is published is wrong. For a good example of how bad information is created and propagated, see this essay.

I'd be anxious to hear from other Hoyle collectors and researchers.

Publications

"Pirates, Autographs, and a Bankruptcy: A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist by Edmond Hoyle, Gentleman" in Script & Print, 34 no. 3 (2010): 133-61.

Abstract: Edmond Hoyle wrote and published A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist (1742), the first instructional, analytic book about any card game. After first edition went out of print, Hoyle sold the rights to bookseller Francis Cogan. While Cogan was preparing a second edition, two printers produced pirated versions. The two-month battle between Cogan and the pirates included marketing campaigns, expanded versions of the work, and litigation. The story of piracy is here told for the first time using clues from the physical books, contemporary newspaper advertisements, and archival records. We are left with books with unusual bibliographical features, the most famous of which is the autograph signature of Hoyle in all authorized copies. The paper concludes with a descriptive bibliography of the versions of A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist published between 1742 and 1744.

With the kind permission of Script and Print, I can offer the journal cover, my article, and the appendices.

Blogging about Hoyle

Edmond Hoyle, Gent. is my blog with bibliographical and other musings about the writings of Edmond Hoyle and other gaming literature. One- and two-year anniversary essays are here:

Gaming Literature before Hoyle

The Literature of Edmond Hoyle

Satiric references to Hoyle

Hoyle collectibles

Biographical information

Gaming Literature

On Bibliography


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