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The story of solitaire - one of the most popular card... The story of solitaire - one of the most popular card...

31.08.2022 11:58

The story of solitaire - one of the most popular card games in the world

Solitaire has its origins in former Germania or Scandinavia. The first known mention of this game appeared in the local anthology of card games published in Hamburg in 1788. The explosion of solitaire popularity took place only thanks to France, and more precisely from its aristocratic social strata.

It was especially loved by the ladies of the court, who saw it as the perfect way to kill time. Interestingly, for exactly the same reason and at the same time as noble families, the prisoners who were serving long sentences became interested in the game.

Where does the name solitaire come from?

There are many theories and even more guesses about the source of the name of this popular game. The most credible version seems to be that the word solitaire comes from the French patiance, meaning patience. An alternately used term is a loner, derived from the French solitaire . Linguists point out that the second version is more appropriate, because today's solitaire is a single-player game, and patiance is a multiplayer variant of this entertainment popular in nineteenth-century England.

How did solitaire reach Poland?

The beginnings of solitaire in Poland are well known. It all started in the early 18th century, when the continental European powers and Great Britain joined the Fourth Coalition against Napoleon's Empire. At that time, Solitaire was the favorite entertainment of the French Grand Army (French: Grande Armée ), which, after defeating the Prussian army, crossed the Oder and conquered the pre-partition territories of Poland. Under the Treaty of Tylża, the Duchy of Warsaw was established there, where French soldiers were stationed until Napoleon's fall. It was from them that Poles learned solitaire .

Since then, this card game has never left our country and has been gaining more and more popularity over the years. It was first described in Polish in Juliusz Wildt's book Pasyanse, or playing cards both for individuals and for the company , published in 1881 in Krakow. The popularity of solitaire in the Duchy of Warsaw is evidenced by the letters from Juliusz Słowacki to his mother, in which he described in detail the techniques and rules of the game.

How has solitaire gained popularity around the world?

In the case of other European countries, the situation was similar to that in Poland. French troops marching across the continent exerted a cultural influence on the inhabitants of both conquered and allied countries. In other regions of the world, however, the dominant factor contributing to the popularization of the game was not war, but trade. The British Empire, thanks to its network of colonies and dominions, had a large crowd of traveling merchants. While doing business with representatives of other continents, the British spread their own customs and entertainment.

Who are the most famous solitaire players?

One of the most famous Polish solitaire players, apart from Juliusz Słowacki, is Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He had developed a real card game habit at one time. This was also taught by his daughter Jadwiga, as well as by close officers who, when visiting the leader in the office, could often find him leaning over a puzzle.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president of the United States of America during World War II, was also passionate about solitaire . According to Lech Pijanowski, the author of the Game Guide published in Warsaw in 1972, the American leader most appreciated the variant of the game called Saint Helena, which he often arranged in an oval office.

The most famous solitaire player was Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France sentenced to exile in 1815. His life imprisonment was the Island of Saint Helena, where in the last years of his life he reportedly enjoyed the time with cards. The truth of the story is now being questioned, but many variants of the game, including one named after the place where the emperor died, will always be associated with him. Some even credit Napoleon for creating the original version of solitaire .

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