A Magician in Many Lands by Charles Bertram, George Routledge & Sons

(c. 1911) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Not a book of tricks, but Charles’ writing of his many travels around the world as a magician. A marvelous glimpse into history in the early 1900’s. Excerpt from A Magician in Many Lands:

‘O for the touch o a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still!’ The poet’s words come sadly to mind as I recall the genial personality of my old friend Charles Bertram, and take pen in hand to write a brief introduction to the record of his journey round the world: a record which, unhappily he himself was not destined to see in print, having in the meantime been summoned to make that last long journey from which no traveller returns.

A book of travel, written by a keen observer, is always interesting. Charles Bertram was not only a keen observer, but enjoyed opportunities of observation denied to ninety-nine travellers out of a hundred. His exceptional skill in his fascinating craft, his popularity as a public entertainer, and his personal good-fellowship had made for him a host of friends, and probably no man ever started on a journey round the world more amply provided with letters of recommendation to the four quarters of the globe. And wherever the magic carpet set him down, he had the happy knack of making yet more and more friends: all eager to show him what was best worth seeing in his temporary halting-place.


v Introduction: about Charles Bertram and his travels, by Louis Hoffmann
1 Chapter I: The Oceana, Port Said, A Local Conjurer, I Change Busses, The Shannon, A Mahometan Funeral
5 Chapter II: Bombay, The Tivoli Theatre, I Lunch at Government House
9 Chapter III: Raipur, The Raj Kumai College, Travelling by bullock Tonga, I ride on an elephant, Calcutta, I perform at Government House Lord Curzon, The Nawab of Dacca
13 Chapter IV: The Black Hole of Calcutta, The Burning Ghats, The Botanical Gardens, the Banyan Tree, Indian Railway Travelling
18 Chapter V: Allahabad Fakirs, their extraordinary tasks and penances, The nude procession, The Railway
Theatre, I meet an unexpected acquaintance, Benares, I pay my respects to the Maharajah and visit the Holy Man, The Monkey and Golden Temples
28 Chapter VI: Lucknow, The Residency, I open at the Mohamed Bagh Theatre, A supplementary show at the
Chatr Munzil Palace, Cawnpore, My illness, I struggle though helped by my boy Jairham Jugga, Cawnpore, I watch a performance of the Mango tree trick, Meerut, The Whela Club, Umballa, I meet General Penn Symons, An invitation from the Maharajah of Kapurthala, Am splendidly entertained, A Durbar
33 Chapter VII: Buona Vista, Amritzar: The Golden Temple, Lahore Patiala, His Highness the Maharajah
38 Chapter VIII: The Holi Festival, I am initiated
44 Chapter IX: Delhi, The Kutb Minar, a monument of victory, The Iron Pillar, A native Baboon, I get a fright
40 Chapter X: Johdpur, The value of a peg, I visit the Maharajah, Amber, The palace, The fe’te in honor of the Goddess of Wealth, The sacred alligators, A tug of war between man and beast, Exit Bertram hurriedly!
56 Chapter XI: Agra, The Taj Mahal, I perform before the Maharajah of Khetri, Stampede of the natives, Bertram the devil-man, Observations on the mosquito
64 Chapter XII: Dholpur, I visit the Maharana Am honoured in being permitted to occupy the guest chambers used by his late Majesty King Edward as Prince of Wales in 1876, I perform before the ladies of
the Zenana, Have a narrow escape from a tiger, Give lessons in legerdemain to the Maharajah Patiala
69 Chapter XIII: Gwalior, The vagaries of the punkah, and elephant ride
74 Chapter XIV: Baroda, The kindness of His Highness the Gaekwar, In the Durbar Hall I give a State performance, The horrors of the famine
80 Chapter XV: The Koiar Gold-field, Bangalore, An examination by the plague officials
85 Chapter XVI: Mandras, My boy climbs for toddy, I perform before Lord Havelock, The Catamaran
90 Chapter XVII: Trichinopoli, the terra-cotta horses, I accept a volunteer ticket-seller – and pay for it
94 Chapter XVIII: I visit the Rajah of Puddakkotai and am greatly honored, a State performance in the Library
98 Chapter XIX: Indian Jugglers and Conjurers, the Mango Tree-Trick, a few comments on travellers’ tales
105 Chapter XX: The Rope Trick – tall stories and their absurdity, Basket Trick
112 Chapter XXI: Indian Conjurers, Hussain Bux, some effective tricks, my opinions, the pearl fisheries at Tuticorin, Ceylon, I visit the Boer Camp
124 Chapter XXII: Rangoon Central Prison, murderers and convicts, The proclamation of King Edward VII as Emperor of India, Mandalay, King Thebaw’s Palace, A Burmese festival, Pponghyi Honey
137 Chapter XXIII: Penang, I find a Dutch wife, Singapore, I risk my life in a sampan, The Chinese New Year, Hong-Kong Pidgin English
150 Chapter XXIV: Canton, The execution ground: hacked to pieces, Slow strangulation, Sanghai, The English settlement, I meet my friend Mr Percy Brough, We witness Justice while you wait
165 Chapter XXV: I take a Chinese Dinner  and afterwards dine at the Club, The Chinese Theatre, A long performance, I give a show Received in silence but with great success, Governor Kwei receives me
kindly at Soochow, A Chinese punishment
177 Chapter XXVI: Japan, Bertram the Buffoon, I take out a license, Kobe, Yokohama, I am commanded to appear before the Mikado
185 Chapter XXVII: Tokio, Sidelights on Japanese cleanliness, I perform before the Court, The Shrine of Nikko, Kioto, the Cherry Dances, The Geisha Girls
201 Chapter XXVIII: Japanese Jugglers, A Japanese Play, blood-thirsty performance, A visit to a Geisha House
211 Chapter XXIX: Hong Kong, Robert and Percy Brough meet me, Percy and I play poker, We capture a small shark and sight the Ophir with the present King and Queen on board, Sydney, Melbourne, I
surprise the Chief of Police Bendigo Maryborough, the Mayor receives me, Mudgee Forbes, Australian Hooligans, Jerilderie the notorious Ned Kelly gang, A fit up show When London Sleeps, Yarrowonga, I ride in a coach, Ici on parle Francais, Sydney loafers and thieves
236 Chapter XXX: New Zealand, Auckland, Sir Hector Macdonald reviews the troops, Crossing the Line, Honolulu
241 Chapter XXXI: San Fransisco, The Chinese Quarter, Opium dens and Theatres, New York, The visit of Li Hung Chang, Coney Island, A clam bake
253 Chapter XXXII: Philadelphia, I visit the Mint, cycling at Atlantic City, Boston, Charlestown
258 Chapter XXXIII: Montreal, The students attend my performance, Niagara, Quebec, Ottawa, A fire at the Government Buildings
267 Chapter XXXIV: Chicago, Hold ups, Sandbagging, Messrs Armours Establishment, I witness the process, St Louis, I perform before the famous Joseph Jefferson, Cincinnati, An American Train Boy
278 Chapter XXXV: I meet my famous confrere Kellar, An advertising dodge, Cleveland, Mark Hanna the American statesman assists me on the Stage, St Paul, Sleighing, Nashville, A Negro Court, I’ll cut
you deep, New Orleans
292 Chapter XXXVI: Washington, I am a millionaire for a second or two, Baltimore, Richmond, the Ice harvest, Brett and I and the bears
303 Chapter XXXVII: Saratoga chips, Trunk smashers at work, Down the Hudson, Election day in New York, The American Woman
311 Chapter XXXVIII: Homewards bound on the Lncania, A Little Game at Poker, I deal and retire, The reward of Innocence, Euston

  • Publisher: George Routledge & Sons
  • Pages: 315
  • Location: London, England
  • Dimensions: 5″x8″
  • Date: 1911
  • Binding: hardbound

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Approx. Price: $15.00 (2003) ***

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