A Closer Look at Whist

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“You have not been long enough in Bath,” said he, “to enjoy the evening parties of the place.”

“Oh! no. The usual character of them has nothing for me. I am no card-player.”

“You were not formerly, I know. You did not use to like cards; but time makes many changes.” – Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot in Persuasion, Vol. II, Ch. X (22)

Reading Jane Austen’s novels, one gets the impression that the author, like Anne Elliot, was no card player. Whist parties are generally portrayed in her novels as insipid, though closer examination shows that it was, perhaps, the company that made such parties insipid, rather than the entertainment. Whist is a fun game and rather addictive; to play it well requires a good memory, the ability to think quickly, and a knack for strategy. Continue reading