When it was written, this was the only book available that relied on sources dated from during or before the civil war period. There were other books on "Victorian Parlor Games" but they often contained games from the post-war period without any distinction regarding which games came from what time. To my knowledge, this is still the only book focusing on games that would have been played during the civil war.
Like the children's games, the original instructions have been interpreted and modern instructions prepared. Also like the children's games, the games usually involve little or very simple equipment. The most striking demonstration of this fact is the equipment I have brought to lead parlor games at a recent conference. For 100 people to play parlor games for three hours, I was able to bring all the supplies I needed in a shoe box. This assumed, of course, that there would be chairs for the players to sit already present. And did it work? Let me say that I don't think I've heard 100 sober people laugh so much! Written by Michael Mescher this is a must for fsmilies that like games!