Georges Deny, Traité du patinage

Traité du patinage (Treatise on Skating) by Georges Deney, was published twice: in 1891 or 1892 and again in 1914. WorldCat gives the date of the first edition as 1891, but Fowler includes it in his list of books published in 1892. Everyone has the year in square brackets, which means nobody’s really sure. Fowler’s description is minimal:

Just the title, publisher, size (octavo) and number of pages: 4+4+166. Plus it cost 2 francs. Source: Fowler 1898, 96.

There’s not a lot about this book online, other than a few copies in libraries and bookstores, often with a note saying that it’s rare. I can’t find a difference between the 1891 (or 1892) and 1914 editions. Catalog entries give the same number of pages and size for both. I suspect the latter was simply a reprint, especially since the author died in 1898.

Georges Deney was a pen name for Julian-Félix Delauney (1848–1898). He also wrote Traité du canne, boxe et baton (Treatise on boxing, cane, and stick) under his real name for the same publisher in about the same years as the skating book. I think the 1914 editions of both may be parts of a grand reprint scheme by the publisher.

Deney advises starting by sliding in shoes before progressing to skates. He calls skating “le cousin germain de la danse” (the first cousin of dance) (p. 45). While diagrams of some figures—including threes to a center, the Maltese cross, and a heart—are included, the emphasis is clearly on free skating. Deney’s skating is meant to appeal to an audience.

The book concludes with a few brief chapters on different attempts to produce ice by feats of engineering and the rules of the “cercle des patineurs” (circle of skaters).