History of Solitaires
Solitaire games, also known as Patience in Britain, are card games for a single player. Does not exist a precise history of solitaires, but it is probable that solitaires are been born with the card games.
The word solitaire is of french origin, and it means patience. It must but wait for the age of Napoleon (is said Napoleon to have played a lot of solitaire) to see a true development of the solitaire games.
The first book on the argument comes printed in 1870. It was Illustrated Games of Patience by lady Adelaide Cadogan, containing 25 games, reprinted many times. In the U.S. mrs E.D. Cheney published the successive year the book Patience.
The publishing house Dick & Fitzgerald in New York published in 1883 a series of books dedicated to solitaire games ("Dick’s Games of Patience") and a second series was published in 1898.
In the 1890’s a great populariser of the game was Miss Whitemore Jones, whose 5 volumes on solitaires went reprint for thirty years.
- Solitaires "have a marvellous capacity both to soothe and challenge the mind of the player" (Trevor Day and The Diagram Group, Collins Gem Patience Card Games, HarperCollins Publishers, 1996, ISBN 0004720164, p. 3)
- "Patience is the mental equivalent of jogging: its purpose is to tone the brain up and get rid of unsociable mental flabbiness." (David Parlett, The Penguin Book of Patience, Penguin Books, 1980, ISBN 0140463461, p. 11)
- "It has many virtues, not the last being that it teaches one the self.discipline of being honest with oneself." (George F. Hervey, The illustrated Book of Card Games for One, ISBN 0890091137, p. 7)
Spider is one of the most popular two-decks solitaire card games. The game is said to have been a particular favourite of Franklin D. Roosevelt.