Illustrated History of Magic (2nd) by Milbourne Christopher, Maurine Christopher, Heinemann

(c. 1973,1996) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Feared as the devil’s handiwork in medieval Europe, officially outlawed in the British colonies of North America, magic performances nevertheless attracted steadily widening audiences who marveled at the sleight of hand or sought proof of the existence of supernatural forces.

First published in 1973 and long out of print, this mesmerizing, intelligent history sweeps from the earliest known image of a conjuring feat?an Egyptian wall painting made around 2500 B.C.?to the feats of that renowned escapologist Harry Houdini. In between, the authors introduce us to Muslim traveler Ibn Batuta’s 1355 eyewitness account of an Indian rope trick in a Chinese royal court and to the exploits of trailblazers like French virtuoso Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, British showman Signor Antonio Blitz and Victorian entertainment producer John Nevil Maskelyne.

This updated edition also covers contemporaries such as Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy, David Copperfield and Las Vegas star Melinda Saxe. Among the 300 illustrations (plus eight pages in color) are posters, ads, photos, engravings, cartoons and playbills. Milbourne Christopher, who died in 1984, was a professional magician, lecturer and historian. Maurine Christopher is his widow.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Contents: (Chapters Only – 1973, 1996, 2006 editions, updated July 2019)

1 Chapter 1 Myth or Magic
8 Chapter 2 The First Wonder-Workers
30 Chapter 3 The Automaton Chess Player
48 Chapter 4 Magic in the Colonies
69 Chapter 5 American Indian Conjuring
82 Chapter 6 Professor Pinetti
97 Chapter 7 Signor Blitz
111 Chapter 8 The Great Wizard of the North
131 Chapter 9 Robert-Houdin Innovator
155 Chapter 10 England’s Home of Mystery
181 Chapter 11 The Great Herrmanns
198 Chapter 12 Around the World with Kellar
222 Chapter 13 Thurston The Wonder Show of the Universe
241 Chapter 14 Ching Ling Foo, Chung Ling Soo, and The Great Lafayette
259 Chapter 15 The Selbit Sensations
274 Chapter 16 The Great Vaudeville Specialists
293 Chapter 17 Le Roy and Goldin Trendsetters
319 Chapter 18 Carter, Nicola, and Raymond
339 Chapter 19 Houdini
368 Chapter 20 Blackstone Versus Dante
388 Chapter 21 Dunninger Master Mentalist
401 Chapter 22 Big Shows and Small Screens
432* Chapter 23 Magic Superstars Poised for the Twenty-First Century
465** Chapter 24 2005 Update on the Magic Scene

433 Sources and Acknowledgements
435 Bibliography
441 Index

*1996 Edition
**2006 Edition

  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Pages: 484
  • Location: Portsmouth, NH, USA
  • Dimensions: 8″x10″
  • Date: 1973, 1996
  • Binding: hardbound

Contents: – click for details

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Approx. Price: $34.97 (2003) ***

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