hist-games: Naine Jaune / Carotmancy debate

Chas webmaster at historicgames.com
Thu Feb 15 07:52:46 PST 2001

In his "Oxford Guide to Card Games" Parlett suggests that the card game Pope
Joan (an ancestor to Tripoli & Michigan Rummy) is related to the French game
Naine Jaune (Yellow Dwarf) and that the name probably became Anglicized to
"Nun Joan" and then evolved to be "Pope Joan," as in the legend regarding John
VIII. He says the earliest reference to the game Pope Joan is 1732 in the OED.
But does anyone have an earliest date for Naine Jaune?

Also I was skimming through a reprint of "History of Playing Cards" Edited by
S. Taylor. (1865) and it brings up what I thought was an interesting tidbit in
regard to the debate between game historians and tarot readers as to the age
of cartomancy. It mentions a couple 16th century works on conjuring that
discuss things like juggling, cards, and fortune telling. If I'm reading the
Victorian-ese correctly, the books are more about conjuring as slight-of-hand
and magician-type tricks, not as real "magick" or witchcraft. In other words,
perhaps these early sources have been mistaken by some researchers of fortune
telling as being early documentation for cartomancy. 

BTW it's nice to discuss things in a reasonable fashion on this list, as
opposed to some of the flames and troll infestations showing up in some
newsgroups recently!

MacGregor Games
Purveyors of historic pastimes to re-enactors around the world
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