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Houdini's Unmasking

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by Jean Hugard
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Houdini's Unmasking by Jean Hugard

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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 portraid. 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 serialized in Jean Hugards magazine Hugard's Magic Monthly.

Published as part of "Hugard's Magic Monthly" beginning with volume 15, number 1, June 1957; 78 pages; PDF 48 pages.

Table of Contents

pagepage
  1. FOREWORD by Milbourne Christopher
  2. INTRODUCTION by Jean Hugard
  3. ROBERT-HOUDIN - HARRY HOUDINI
  4. Chapter 1
    GENESIS OF HOUDINI'S "THE UNMASKING OF ROBERT-HOUDIN"
  5. Chapter 2
    THE REFORMS ACTUALLY CLAIMED BY ROBERT-HOUDIN
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  1. 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."
  2. 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."
  3. 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."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chapter 14
    ROBERT-HOUDIN'S "MEMOIRS"
    Houdini's Indictment No. 12: That Robert-Houdin's "Memoirs" were narrow in the extreme.
  7. Chapter 15
    INVENTIONS OF ROBERT-HOUDIN
  8. SUPPLEMENT by Milbourne Christopher

word count: 18027 which is equivalent to 72 standard pages of text
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08/19/2017
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