Houdini’s “Unmasking”” (Fact vs. Fiction) by Jean Hugard

(c. 1957,1989) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Houdini wrote a very nasty book about Robert-Houdin claiming that Robert-Houdin stole many tricks and was in reality not as great a magician as he usually is portraied. Jean Hugard sets with this book the record straight and reveals Houdini’s fabricated arguments. Houdini’s unmasking of Robert-Houdin was just a revenge on Robert-Houdin’s family and had little to do with reality. But you can find out for yourself and read The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin.

“Houdini’s Unmasking” originally appeared as a series in Jean Hugards magazine Hugard’s Monthly Magic Publication.

Contents (from Lybrary.com listing):

3 Foreword By Milbourne Christopher
5 Introduction By Jean Hugard
7 Robert-Houdin – Harry Houdini

13 Chapter 1 Genesis Of Houdini’s “The Unmasking Of Robert-Houdin”

17 Chapter 2 The Reforms Actually Claimed By Robert-Houdin

23 Chapter 3 Robert-Houdin’s Authorship
Houdini’s Indictment No. 1: That Robert-Houdin Did Not Write The Books That Have Been Ascribed To Him

25 Chapter 4 The Orange Tree Trick
Houdini’s Indictment No. 2: That Robert-Houdini’s Famous Orange Tree Trick Was Just A Plain Copy Taken From An Apple Tree Trick Which Had First Been Produced In 1730

27 Chapter 5 Robert-Houdin’s Stage Settings
Houdini’s Indictment No. 3: That Robert-Houdin Was Not The First To Dispense With A Huge Display Of Apparatus On The Stage, And That He Was Not The First Magician To Appear In Ordinary Evening Dress

29 Chapter 6 Writing And Drawing Automata
Houdini’s Indictment No. 4: That Robert-Houdin Did Not Invent The Writing And Drawing Automaton That He Represented As His Invention, But Simply Copied The Mechanism Of Another Writing And Drawing Automaton Which Had Been Invented Many Years Before

33 Chapter 7 The Pastry Cook Of The Palais Royale
Houdini’s Indictment No. 5: That Robert-Houdin Falsely Claimed To Have Invented The Automaton Known As The Pastry Cook Of The Palais Royale

35 Chapter 8 The Obedient Card, The Cabalistic Clock, And The Trapeze Automaton
Houdini’s Indictment No. 6: That Robert-Houdin Falsely Claimed To Have Invented The Obedient Card, The Cabalistic Clock, And The Trapeze Automaton

37 Chapter 9 The Inexhaustible Bottle
Houdini’s Indictment No. 7: “According To An Article Published In ‘L’illusioniste,’ Scientists To This Day, In Explaining The Law Of Physics As Operated By The Use Of Air-Holes In The Inexhaustible Bottle, Refer To It As The ‘Robert-Houdin Bottle,’ When In Reality The Honor Of Its Invention Belongs To Some Obscure Mechanic Or Magician Whose Name Must Remain Forever Unsung By The Writers Of Magic.”

39 Chapter 10 Electricity In Stage Magic
Houdini’s Indictment No. 8: “All Evidence Points To The Fact That Robert-Houdin Merely Improved On The Tricks Employed By Breslaw, Pinetti, And Others Among His Predecessors In Magic, By Utilizing The Newly Found Assistant To The Magician, Electricity.”

43 Chapter 11 The Ethereal Suspension
Houdini’s Indictment No. 9: “But Whatever The Method Employed By Robert-Houdin To Secure The Effects Of ‘Suspension Éthérénne,’ He Was Merely Introducing A Century-Old Trick, Which Other Contemporary Magicians Were Also Exhibiting … Robert-Houdin Alone Was Audacious Enough To Claim The Invention As His Own.”

49 Chapter 12 The Disappearing Handkerchiefs
Houdini’s Indictment No. 10: That Robert-Houdin Did Not Invent The Trick Of The Disappearing Handkerchiefs Which He Presented At A Command Performance For Louis Philippe On November, 1846 At The Court Of St. Cloud, But Was Indebted For It To The Hundreds Of Humble Magicians Who Preceded Him.

55 Chapter 13 Robert Houdin’s Magic Skill And Knowledge
Houdini’s Indictment No. 11: That Robert-Houdin’s Ignorance Of Magic Was Betrayed By His Own Pen.

61 Chapter 14 Robert-Houdin’s “Memoirs”
Houdini’s Indictment No. 12: That Robert-Houdin’s “Memoirs” Were Narrow In The Extreme.

65 Chapter 15 Inventions Of Robert-Houdin

69 Supplement By Milbourne Christopher

  • Publisher: Magicana for Collectors
  • Pages: 78
  • Location: York, PA
  • Dimensions: 6″x9″
  • Date: 1957, 1989
  • Binding: hardbound

Contents: magicref.net – click for details

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Approx. Price: $20.00 (2004) ***

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