The Guardian has a nice article on the history of playing cards. It includes some fun, esoteric historical facts.

  • The evils of cards and gambling were noted already in England in 1462.
  • Post-revolutionary France banned royalty on the playing cards for twelve years, until Napolean came along and told them to stop being silly.
  • In 1935, card makers tried to introduce a fifth suit – the eagles – but it was a dismal failure.