With only a month to go before the release of Without a Summer, I thought I would start to share some of research images that I was collecting while writing it. Here we have a set of eighteenth century playing cards such as one might use in playing whist.
Whist is one of those games that turns up in a number of Jane Austen’s novels, but I hadn’t actually played it until recently. Fortunately, the Oregon Regency Society was a font of information and offered the opportunity to play. In costume even.
Whist turns out to be a surprisingly simple game, played with partners. It’s nice because it is simple enough that you can carry on conversation and still make a credible showing.
Here’s how card games appear in Without a Summer.
Jane had taken it upon herself to host a card party, inviting all those neighbours who were willing to make the trip to Long Parkmead.
She expected this would delight Melody, but was surprised to find, upon glancing up from a game of whist, that her sister stood by the window, looking out at the snow. Her golden curls seemed to cry for sunlight quite as much as the daffodils, which peeked above the layer of snow outside.
Jane reached the end of her game and waited while she and her partner, her mother’s friend, Mrs. Marchand, counted their tricks. Mrs. Marchand was only too delighted to discover that they had nearly twice as many points as their rivals. Leaving her to triumph in their victory, Jane excused herself from the table upon the pretext of wishing to cool her temples by the window and went to her sister.
Have you ever played whist?