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ANONYMOUS : THE LONDON RIDDLER c1825 VERY EARLY BOOK ON RIDDLES, PUZZLES, MIND GAMES, ENIGMAS, CHARADES, REBUSSES & CONUNDRUMS
24mo - over 5" - 5¾" tall. On offer one of the earliest books devoted to riddles, puzzles and mind-games. Circa 1825. Highly unusual with no copy in the British Library and as such very rare. The Book: The London Riddler or, 'The art of teasing made easy: consisting of enigmas, charades, rebusses, conundrums, and transpositions: original, and selected from the most approved sources, and classically arranged according to an entirely new plan.' London : Hodgson and Co, [1825?] 198 p.,  illustrated folded leaf of various plates: 60 ill.; 16 cm. Original brown boards and paper spine label present but off, interiors generally clean with only the occasional spot. There is a variant edition in the Library of Congress exactly matching this save for the imprint of William Cole with no mention of Hodgson. Riddles, while today perhaps more associated with children's games, did occupy an important and esteemed place in literature and history. They served not only as an amusement, but to cultivate the intellect and memory. Voltaire, Cervantes, Goethe and Dickens all conceived riddles and their more modern appearance in literature can be found in the Hobbit and, of course Harry Potter. Certainly, this unusual and rare book collects many fine lost riddles and puzzles and serves as testament to 19th century leisure, education, and perhaps most of all, British wit. The Library of Congress copy (LC Control Number: 91156584) is found in the The McManus-Young Collection which "provides a rich survey of the literature of what Dr. Young terms "illusion practices," the magician's manipulation of the imagination of others, and includes works on conjuring, ventriloquism, fortune-telling, spiritualism, witchcraft, gambling, hypnotism, automata, and mind reading." It appears in fact as perhaps the earliest book of its type in the collection. It should be noted that this anonymous work may be by a female writer. The British Library does contain a later 1838 volume entitled "Teasing made easy; a new pocket manual for all who would excel in this fashionable accomplishment and most important branch of the fine arts by a popular female practitioner." That volume appears to be based on or perhaps a later edition of the work for sale here. NOTE: There is a solution provided to all the puzzles in the book.. English Language. Book Condition: Very Good. Binding: Disbound
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