About six months ago, I was lucky enough to win an incredibly good lot on eBay that had been a bit of a pot-luck chance. Included with some trimmings was a little book with the title "The Old Art of Tatting No.1 by an Englishwoman: Edgings & Insertions". It is totally undated, but appears contemporary with the early Riego books. At the time, I did ask Jane, Gillian & Georgia if they knew anything about it but drew blanks from all. They, however, did not see the cover as below.
It also says in it "[New and Improved Edition]..... printed by Holloway and Son, 10, Milsom Street, Bath." The really interesting thing, is that the chain (called in bar in the book using pink thread to learn) is included in every pattern as are joining picots (including detailed instructions on how to join "by pulling the thread which is round the hand through the pearl loop with the tatting pin when drawn to a sufficient length push the shuttle......" It also only uses one shuttle and not a needle to make the chain. So if it is contemporary with the early Riego books it would be the first mention of these methods published, contrary to what has been previously thought, that Mrs Pullan "invented" chains with a needle in 1859, Mee & Austin perfected the chain in 1862 and Riego uses them in her books after this (she was known to have appropriated the picot joining method as her own).
Rereading past emails I have just realised that at the time I asked Georgia, she suggested I contact Erin, which I never did at the time, so I must check in with her.
Anybody else know anything - PLEASE help me try to find out.