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Profile of myrealsphinx
Hi friends,
I am looking for some books on the history of playing cards.
I loved the final of Art of Card Manipulations when Jeff McBride makes that analogy with the origin of the Tarot Cards.
But I couldn't find much thing about the history and philosophy od playing cards.
Any tips???

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suburban Detroit
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Profile of innermind
Although it's not a book, this DVD by the History Channel is enjoyable:

"Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else." -Will Rogers
Tim Cavendish
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Inner circle
1332 Posts

Profile of Tim Cavendish
For a long time there was a lot of guessing and speculation instead of hard research on playing card history.

The Game of Tarot by Michael Dummett, published in 1980, has superb research on the history/origin of playing cards.

I expect there's been more done since then, building on Dummett's work.
Robert D. Adams
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Birmingham, UK
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Profile of Robert D. Adams
Anyone really interested in playing card history should consider joining the International Playing Card Society

When you join you get access to the complete backlog of journals through the Ask Alexander portal. You also get access to all the 52+ Joker publications and more! You also get access to a private forum and exclusive meet-ups and trading sessions.
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Profile of Jacques
You can find many old books on playing cards history on sites like Internet Archives, Scribd and others for free.
Such as:
Chatto - Facts and Speculations on the Origin and history of playing cards - 1848
Rensselaer- The Devil's picture book - 1899
Taylor - The History of Playing Cards - 1865

Recently I enjoyed reading Detlef Hoffmann: The Playing Card: An Illustrated History 1973. Lots of nice illustrations.

You can find reprints of Catherine Perry Hardrive: A History of Playing Cards and a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming 1966
it is considered the classic text on playing cards history.

As for Tarot cards, you should read: Helen Farley - Cultural History of Tarot 2009
It's history, not mythical speculations to support esotecic interpretations of the tarot.
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