"my Hoyle, sir, - my best Hoyle"
Edmond Hoyle (1672 - 1769) was a widely revered authority on the rules and play of card games. He published A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist
in 1742, selling it for the princely sum of one guinea. The book was an enormous success. It ran to 14 editions in Hoyle’s lifetime, was enthusiastically pirated by bootleg publishers, and made Hoyle a great deal of money. Hoyle went on to write books on backgammon, brag, chess, and probability theory, among others.
He supplanted Charles Cotton’s The Compleat Gamester, which had been England’s primary reference book on gaming and gambling since its publication in 1674. In 1748, a collected edition of his works, under the title Mr. Hoyle's Treatises of Whist, Quadrille, Piquet, Chess and Back-Gammon went on sale.
Hoyle may have assisted in lifting whist from the kitchen to the drawing room. Writers in the early 1700s referred to whist in a disparaging way, fit only for hunting men and country squires. Hoyle’s treatise helped to elevate the game in public estimation, and by the middle of the 18th century whist was regularly played in London’s coffee houses and fashionable salons.