Canadian Variations


Although the copyright notice of the first edition claims the book was “Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada,” it does not appear to have ever actually been copyrighted in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter, in 1902. It has been printed in Canada, however, on at least two occasions. The first was in 1945. The printer/publisher was Fireside Publications. There are at least two versions known, both paperbacks. The first has the King of Hearts cover, while the other has a plain green cover and is reported to be a “Toronto only” edition.

There is an interesting note: it is reported that the Fireside edition was newly typeset, not an offset printing of the original. Although it still has the original 205 pages, they vary from the original and several errors were introduced in the re-typesetting. The Man Who Was Erdnase claims that most of the copies of the Fireside edition were seized and destroyed by the Canadian government. Why this would be the case is anybody’s guess, since the original copyright was never renewed. Regardless, it seems that Whaley and Busby were likely mistaken, as I have seven copies in my own collection and have passed on buying at least as many more over the years.

Coles Publishing Company, also of Toronto, produced the other true Canadian printing in 1980. It’s of a poor-quality, but did forego the King of Hearts cover. Instead, the cover depicts a set of hands in the process of performing some undetermined move or sleight with a deck of cards while another player watches.

In 2015, Magicana released yet another variant of Erdnase, this one named The Experts at the Card Table, by David Ben and E.S. Andrews. Ben revised the original text from the “Card Table Artifice” section of The Expert (by rearranging, editing and correcting previously noted mistakes) into a new order, one Ben calls the “Erdnase System of Advantage Play.” Another large departure from all other variations, Ben replaced all the M.D. Smith line art illustrations over 750 photographs. This version is not a reprint, nor is it an annotated version. This book comes in two variations, Regular and Limited Edition (limited to 104 copies).






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