Over the next few weeks I am going to post pictures from some of the rarer and more interesting books on Mah Jongg from my collection. Today’s posting will show you a few pages from a 1923 book entitled, “Mah Jong And How To Play It” by Chiang Lee and published by the London publisher, Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd. Incidentally, Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd. also created some very fanciful and delightful Mah Jongg card sets.



Look at the top of this page. I can’t read the person’s name who wanted to make sure that no one else could lay claim to his/her book but the date shows that this book was bought not long after it was published.


The very thorough Table of Contents:


A diagram of the tiles of Mah Jongg – no changes since way back then except for the addition of Jokers when playing American Mah Jongg – but where are the Flowers?


My favorite page…found on the very last page of the book! I know you will all enjoy reading about this “new craze coming to London” – “MAH JONG!” This article was extracted from the August 29th, 1923 edition of the Pall Mall Gazette and published in the book to get people excited about the Mah Jongg lessons being given by Chiang Lee (arranged by the book’s publisher).


6 thoughts on “SPEAKING OF BOOKS…

  1. bonytony1946

    I collect these old books too, I love the style of writing, and the humour as well… Some of them are hilarious, especially Henry Peterson’s “Maj Jong Simplified”.
    Many of them centre around the 136 tile game, with only a fleeting reference to flowers and definitely no Jokers, which only came into being with the American rules of NMJL in the 50s, I believe (although there are some sets with ‘luck’ tiles).


  2. Carol Wright

    The lore surrounding Mah Jongg is fascinating and I enjoy reading about its history.
    Many thanks, Carol


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