Portland Club history is bound up with the history of all games of the whist family. Bridge, that newcome interloper, was first introduced there by Lord Brougham in 1894. By 1898, the Whist Reference Book sadly reported, "The fact is the Portland, like many other clubs, has been suffering for some time from an attack of 'bridge' and, until the craze has run its course, true whist is in the minority there, to the sorrow of whist lovers." The author proved a poor prophet. The whist family was doomed to produce a line of patricides. Bridge (in which the dealer's side named the trump suit) was followed in 1904 by auction bridge (in which the highest bidder named the trump), and auction was swallowed by contract bridge about 1929. Each new sprig overwhelmed the branch from which it sprang, but for each new game the Portland Club was recognized as England's official lawmaker. The code under which contract is played today was drawn in collaboration with and approved by the Portland; new laws, when they are adopted, will achieve international acceptance only when they win the sanction of the Portland Club's Card Committee. WorldCat locates just two copies (British Library and in the Netherlands). No other copy of this title found currently listed for sale.
48 printed pages. 13 x 19 cm. Original purple roan (very slightly worn at edges, spine very slightly faded). Gilt lettering on upper cover (boards very slightly bowing). The Portland Club is the headquarters of England's lawmakers for whist, for bridge and now for contract, situated on Charles Street in the heart of Mayfair.