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12:54pm on Saturday, 28th May, 2011:

Learn as you Play


I bought some playing cards over the Internet recently (you don't say?), a pair of Piatnik decks from 1953 — the year Elizabeth II was crowned.

Here's what the paper that came with them says:

The cards are actually quite beauiful, although the printing could do with a few more dots per inch. However, these aren't just ordinary cards — they're educational! They depict figures from British history!

Let's take a look:

I was considering asking you guess which major historical figures these are, but you may as well just have picked names at random. Even if I were to give the names and ask you to associate the names to the faces, it would pretty well be guesswork. Left to right, the above are supposed to be: Benjamin Disraeli; Queen Victoria; Edward VII; Admiral Horation Nelson; Queen Elizabeth I; Richard the Lionheart.

Here are the other pictures:

These are: John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough; Queen Anne; King William III; Sir Francis Drake; Anne Boleyn; King Henry VIII.

OK, well these cards were for the American market, so I suppose the fact that none of them remotely resemble whom they're supposed to resemble was less likely to be detected there. I guess they didn't have effective trade description laws back in 1953.

I have a strong suspicion that I have some cards that look just like these that aren't pitched as being historical British figures, but I have to go off and sit in my office for 3 hours right now while my CE217 students endure the exam, so you're spared further analysis...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).