A set of 13 cards, originally tied with yellow ribbon, between two loose "title" card (possibly the remains of a box?). Accompanied by instruction booklet
To play the game, the packet of cards would be untied and the individual cards distributed to players as needed. Game played by asking a series of eight questions to each player in turn, with one player acting as "Oracle." The oracle held the direction booklet that also held the answers to the questions. The "answers" consist of selected quotations from William Shakespeare's plays. Each of the eight questions was supplied with thirty answers. The player whose turn it was would randomly pick a number from one to thirty to obtain his or her answer from the Oracle who held the answer key. Some of the answers or "fortunes" are even provided in both masculine and feminine forms. The answers were either considered "fortuitous" or "unlucky," but because of the potential of ambiguity in interpreting the Shakespearean texts, the game made provision for a vote by the players and audience whether an answer was lucky or unlucky. The person with the largest number of lucky fortunes was considered the winner
Advertised in Publishers' Weekly, volume 42, nos. 21, 27, "The Christmas Bookshelf," page 142, under "D. Lothrop Company's Books for the Holidays": "The Shakspere [sic] Oracle; or, Wheel of Fortune. 50 cents. A unique and dainty device in the form of a game with diagrams and text, the purpose being to familiarize young people with Shaksperian poetry, while affording them social entertainment and pleasure. It is destined to be immensely popular."
Publication information taken from verso of title page of booklet
Portions also available as a digital reproduction
Washington, D.C. Folger Shakespeare Library, 2016. Will and Jane: Shakespeare, Austen and the Cult of Celebrity. Displayed open box and some cards
Item information about Folger ART Flat c25
Adopted by David Eric Lees in honor of Bode Gibson Lees, Acquisitions Night 2012