A short history of hidden identities + new acquisitions for December 2016

At one time in England it was fashionable for card game experts to use a pseudonym. A successful writer would find he could use his ‘name’ as a bargaining tool when it came to a new contract. It didn’t matter if you weren’t an expert of a second game, their nom de plume was seen as a guarantee for more sales. The men (all men, no women you will notice) below contributed much to the hobby of games.

Captain Crawley / Rawdon Crawley = George Frederick Pardon (1824–1884). He was an English journalist and writer,  especially  on sports and games but he turned his hand to novels as well. His pseudonyms were taken from a character named Captain Rawdon Crawley in William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel, Vanity Fair.

Elwell = Joseph Bowne Elwell (1874 – June 11, 1920). He was an American bridge player, tutor, and writer during the 1900s and 1910s, prior to and during development of the auction bridge version of the card game. However, he is not remembered primarily for his books on card games. His place in history is because he was a murder victim in a crime that was never solved. His murder was done in a locked room with no other ways of leaving the room. Those circumstances led to a host of crime novels, generically known as ‘locked room’ or hidden exits’ literature, the first of which was The Benson Murder Case, a novel by S.S. Van Dine which introduced his fictional detective Philo Vance. I am not an expert on Agatha Christie but I am certain that such a crime occupied Hercule Poirot’s “little grey cells” on a few occasions.

 

 

Professor Hoffmann = Angelo John Lewis (1839 - 1919 ) He really was a professor (of law). He was a major expert on magic and magicians. This led to him writing books on puzzles and amusements. This further led to him writing books on card games. Prolific author.

Spike Hughes = Patrick Cairns Hughes (1908 – 1987). Hughes was a British jazz musician, composer and music journalist. His contribution to the hobby of gaming was The Art of Coarse Bridge. This was a humorous look at Bridge. There are amusing situations all through the book. Of course, he was writing about playing Bridge at home and not Duplicate Bridge.. 

Cavendish = Henry Jones (2 November 1831 – 10 February 1899). Cavendish was an English writer and an authority on Whist and other card games plus tennis and other lawn games. It was thanks to him that Wimbledon became the premier tennis tournament in the world. In 1875 he first suggested that an annual Championship be held and the suggestion was taken up in 1877. Going back to card games, I think he probably wrote more books on that subject than any other author in this article.Trivia: Early residents in Brisbane named a road after him. It is called Cavendish Road, as they were very keen players of Whist.

 

 

Atozed = David Whitelaw (1875-1970). He was credited as the designer of the card game Lexicon. I think I read somewhere that he was a noted compiler of crosswords besides being a prolific author of novels. He must have been a shrewd man when it came to promoting his game. In his 1944 book "The Lexicon Murders" the killer uses the game for the purpose of a secret code. This implanted the game into the readers' minds and created an international market for the game.

Pole = William Pole. All I can tell you was that he was a doctor as well as being an expert on card games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some others are harder to track down. However I am listing them below:

Premier Pas = Robert Hammond

Jack Smarte = J.S. McTear

T.M.D. = T.M. Down

Berkeley = Unknown

I would like to thank Ms G Goodwin for her help in compiling this information. All images are from my own collection.

Now to new games received this month: Not many but some………A lotta Lotto you might say

 

Airfix Playing Card Games Set

Robert Frederick

2011

Cat's Eye Tarot

U.S. Games Systems

2011

Megellan

Hans im Glück

2002

Halma

Spika

1965

Blumen-Lotto

Spika

1987

Galactic War

Usborne

1983

Timeline: Historical Events

Asmodee

2015

 

New World

Avalon Hill

1990

Skull King

Schmidt

2013

Würfel-Lotto

Spika

1976

Goldnaire

Gemblo

2011

Deutsche Städte

ASS

1960

Dragon Dice: Battle Box

TSR

1996

Mal- und Haustier Lotto

Spika

1972

For Get It

Schmidt

1997

Murmelspiel Marbles

PEBE 435

1983

Vogelbilder-Lotto

Spika

1982

Bauwerke

Lehrmittel Pössneck

1980

 

Rechen-Lotto

Plasticart

1963

 

 

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