Patience Games for the FireSide by E.D Cheney – 1870

  • Name Book: Patience Games for the FireSide, a series of games with cards
  • Author: Mrs. Ednah Dow Cheney
  • Year: 1870
  • Location: Boston, USA
Patience Games for the FireSide by E.D Cheney - 1870 book cover
Source: My Solitaire Bibliography

Patience Games for the FireSide, a series of games with cards by Mrs. Ednah Dow Cheney, Boston 1870

This is one of the oldest books of Solitaire and was compiled by Mrs. Ednah Dow Cheney (1824 – 1904) and published by Lee and Shepard, Boston

The book contains descriptions of 30 different Patience and solitaire games, played with one or two packs. The game of Triangle (Klondike) is not mentioned, also not under another name.

In the preface, Mrs. Cheney gives a very important insight into the history of the game, its name origin, and how it was played.

“The game, or rather style of the game, called Patience, for it is not one, but manifold;- has long been a great game in Europe, but is familiar to our people only in one or two of its simplest forms, under the French name of Solitaire

“Patience is a great favorite among all the people from the Germanic races in Europe. Miss Bremer frequently alludes to it in her charming pictures of life in Sweden”

“The interest of patience is sometimes enhanced by using it as a fortune-teller. The player will wish for the success of some enterprise he has at heart, and will fancy that is good or ill fortune in getting out the game is an augury of his luck in more important matters”

About her resources she wrote:

“It remains for me to indicate the sources whence I have derived my information. The majority of these games are taken from a little book published first in France and afterward translated into English, which accidentally came to my notice.

So much of the awkwardness of a translation remained in the English book, that the descriptions of the games were often extremely obscure, and what may have been grace-full sentiment in the original became absurd in the dilution.

I have therefore entirely rewritten all the descriptions of the games, tested them all by experiment, and have added diagrams wherever it seemed necessary to a perfect understanding”

The French book she refers to is the book Le Livre des Patiences. You obviously see the many similarities in the titles and descriptions of the games. Underneath you see the complete list of Patience games explained by Ednah Dow Cheney in the book Patience Games for the FireSide, a series of games with cards

  • Solitaire
  • Grandfathers
  • The Sultan
  • Paternal
  • The Trios (a variation of Paternal)
  • Musical
  • The Legitimist
  • Fourteen
  • The Windmill
  • Salique Law
  • Push Pin
  • Little Lots
  • WanderinG Card
  • Patience at Sint Helena
  • Blockade
  • Number Eleven
  • The Egyptian
  • The Clock
  • Double Jump
  • Nivernaise
  • Dutches of Luynes
  • Picture
  • Lady of the Manor
  • Honers
  • Puzzle
  • Knave’s Dial
  • Brunette and Blonde
  • The Square
  • The Queens Party
  • Fifteen in a Row

A free version of the second edition of this book is available on

Another book on Solitaire written by Ednah Dow Cheney: