The History and Development of Patience
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23.07.2017

The History and Development of Patience

The history of playing games is as old as the history of human civilization. Although there are no written documents or evidence about the history of playing cards, still they are assumed quite old. In the same way the history of solitaire or patience games is also very old. This game is so old that the exact origination of the game is not known till date. There are no proper historical written or engraved records present to support the views about the origination of the game in particular. Some scholars think that the game of patience is of French origin. These particular views are derived from the evidence of references of the game of Patience in the old English literature that hints the origination of the game to have some origination links to the country of France. The reference of the game of patience are found in the English works such as La Belle Lucie, Le Loi Salique, Le Cadran,, La Nivernaise and other similar works.


According to the researchers, Napoleon is also said to have played the game of solitaire or patience when he was in exile. For these reason there are many patience games that were named after him. Some of the games that were named after him are napoleon at St. Helena and Napoleonís Square etc. However, according to some theories, these games might have been actually invented by the great Napoleon himself. In any case if they were actually ivented by him or were present from earlier times is not exactly verifiable.

The elaborate collection of solitaire games first found in the English literature is in lady Adelaide Cadoganís Illustrated Games of patience. The book was first published in the year 1870 and was reprinted several times. Although there are many works in the English literature about the game of cards, like in the works as The Complete gamester(1674), Abbe Bellecourís Academie des Jeux (1674) and Bohnís Handbook of games (1850): there are no reference of game of patience in those collections. There are also other references to the game of cards in other literary works like patience by E.D. Cheney, Amusements for Invalids by Annie B. Henshaw in the year 1870 and Dickís game of patience by Dick and Fitzgerald.

Other references to the game of patience include in the various literary works of the great Russian writer Tolstoy. In Leo Tolstoyís War and Peace has a scene that had characters playing the game of Patience. In the John Steinbeckís novella Of Mice and Men, the protagonist plays the game of solitaire. The Gentleman and the parlor by Somerset Maugham mentionís the game of Spider, a game of patience. It also quotes the game of solitaire as ďa flippant dispositionĒ. In A handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, a player plays patience, while waiting for the news of a death to reach London.

It is notable that according to the Redbook Magazine, President Franklin D. Roosevelt played the game of patience and was an ardent fan of Spider game. There was reference of the game in many of the movies like the 1962 released film The Manchurian candidate.
May 13, 2008, 2:12 pm


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