The History of English Podcast

Episode 135: A House of Cards

1:16:37 | Mar 24th

2 recommendations

In the early 1400s, playing cards made their first appearance in England. Those cards provide evidence of an early form of printing, but it would take another generation for Johannes Gutenberg to inve...Show More


epekilis recommended:Apr 9th

A deck of cards is such an everyday object that we completely take for granted the complexity of their artwork and design. Why are there 3 picture cards, 4 suits, and a joker? Why is that thing that looks like a clover called “clubs”? And what does Joan of Arc have to do with any of this? Such a ...Show More

hsfargis recommended:Apr 9th

As a (modern day) printer, I found this endlessly fascinating. The history of printing with the history of cards thrown in was a great listen.

epekilisApr 15th

@hsfargis Reading your comment, I realize that it was odd for me to focus on the cards rather than the far more important topic of printing. Movable type printing was indeed a truly revolutionary technological advance of far greater impact. I had just never heard the stuff about cards before. It ...Show More

hsfargisApr 17th

@epekilis I completely understand.I’m so used to viewing the history of printing through the lens of religion and printing bibles. I have never heard (or thought) of other influences! It was new to me too. I would love to hear more stories like this, of other influences.


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