If you're looking for ways to entertain yourself or your family during these cold winter days, or if you have made a New Year's resolution to learn something new or challenge your mind, Monroe St. Press has just released two new titles that may be of interest.
The Blue Book of Chess by Howard Staunton was among the first comprehensive guides to the game of chess, composed by the British chess master (1810-1874) who organized the first international chess tournament in 1851 and popularized the "Staunton Design" for chess pieces still used today. First published in 1870, a later edition in 1910 added games and strategies used by other chess masters such as Emmanuel Lasker, Wilhelm Steinitz, Paul Morphy, and Adolf Anderssen. Monroe St. Press has reprinted the 1910 edition complete with diagrams and instructions.
Meanwhile, Cassell's Book of In-door Amusements, Card Games, and Fireside Fun (third edition, 1881) features hundreds of games and activities for all ages, including:
– classic party games such as Charades, Simon Says, and Blind Man's Buff
– rules for numerous card games including poker, whist, euchre, vingt-un (Twenty-One/Blackjack), and many variations
—directions and diagrams for do-it-yourself toys, puzzles, and crafts
—word and number puzzles and brain teasers
—sleight of hand magic tricks
This book is a great resource for families, classrooms, historical presenters and reenactors, and for Victorian or Steampunk-themed events.