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Memoirs of Robert-Houdin

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by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin
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Memoirs of Robert-Houdin by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin

This is a great book written by one of the greatest magicians of all time, Robert-Houdin. He describes in his own words his development from a little boy to a star performer. How he started as a watchmaker, performed in the St. James Theater, and ended up helping France with a conflict with the Marabouts. Read it. Highly recommended.

1st UK edition, 1859, Chapman & Hall, London; 1st edition US edition, 1859, Geo. G. Evans, Philadelphia; reprint, circa 1880, Porter & Coates, Philadelphia; reprint, 1942, Laurie, London; reprint, 1944, Jones; reprint, 1964, Dover; 436 pages.

Table of Contents

pagepage
  1. Editor's Preface
  2. The Author's Overture
  3. CHAPTER I
    My Birth and Parentage
    My Home
    The Lessons of Colonel Bernard
    Paternal Ambition
    My first Mechanical Attempts
    Had I but a Rat!
    A Prisoner's Industry
    The Abbé Larivière
    My Word of Honor
    Farewell to my darling Tools.
  4. CHAPTER II
    A Country Idler
    Dr. Carlosbach, Conjurer and Professor of Mystification
    The Sand-bag and the Stirrup Trick
    I turn Lawyer's Clerk, and the Minutes appear to me very long
    A small Automaton
    A respectful Protest
    I mount a Step in the Office
    A Machine of Porter's Power
    The Acrobatic Canaries
    Monsieur Roger's Remonstrances
    My Father decides that I shall follow my bent.
  5. CHAPTER III
    My Cousin Robert
    The most important Event in my Life
    How a Man becomes a Sorcerer
    My first Sleight-of-Hand Feat
    An utter Failure
    Practising the Eye and the Hand
    Curious Experiment in Prestidigitation
    Monsieur Noriet
    An Action more ingenious than delicate
    I am Poisoned
    Influence of Delirium.
  6. CHAPTER IV
    I return to Life
    A strange Doctor
    Torrini and Antonio: a Conjurer and a Fanatic for Music
    A Murderer's Confession
    A perambulating House
    The Fair at Angers
    A portable Theatre
    I witness for the first Time a Conjuring Performance
    The blind Man's Game at Piquet
    A Dangerous Rival
    Signor Castelli eats a Man alive.
  7. CHAPTER V
    Antonio's Confessions
    How to gain Public Applause
    The Count de
    Mountebank
    I repair an Automaton
    A Mechanician's Shop on Wheels
    Nomadic life
    Happy Existence
    Torrini's Lessons
    His Opinions about Sleight-of-Hand
    A Fashionable Greek, Victim of his own Swindling
    The Conjurer Comus
    A Duel at Piquet
    Torrini proclaimed Conqueror
    Revelations
    New Catastrophe
    Poor Torrini!
  8. CHAPTER VI
    Torrini relates his Life
    Treachery of Chevalier Pinetti
    A Conjurer through Malice
    A Race between two Magicians
    Death of Pinetti
    Exhibits before Pius VII.
    The Cardinal's Chronometer
    Twelve Hundred Francs spent on a Trick
    Antonio and Antonia
    The most bitter of Mystifications
    Constantinople.
  9. CHAPTER VII
    Continuation of Torrini's History
    The Grand Turk orders a Performance
    A marvellous Trick
    A Page cut in two
    Pitying Protest of the Harem
    Agreeable Surprise
    Return to France
    Torrini's Son Killed
    Madness
    Decay
    My first Performance
    An annoying Accident
    I return Home.
  10. CHAPTER VIII
    The Prodigal Son
    Mademoiselle Houdin
    I go to Paris
    My Marriage
    Comte
    Studies of the Public
    A skillful Manager
    Rosecolored Tickets
    A Musky Style
    The King of Hearts
    Ventriloquism
    The Mystifiers Mystified
    Father Roujol
    Jules de Rovère
    Origin of the word prestidigitateur.
  11. CHAPTER IX
    Celebrated Automata
    A Brazen Fly
    The Artificial Man
    Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas d'Aquinas
    Vaucanson
    His Duck
    His Flute-Player
    Curious Details
    The Automaton Chess-Player
    Interesting Episode
    Catherine II. and M. de Kempelen
    I repair the Componium
    Unexpected Success.
  12. CHAPTER X
    An Inventor's Calculations
    One Hundred Thousand Francs a Year by an Inkstand: Deception
    My new Automata
    The First Magician in France: Decadence
    I meet Antonio
    Bosco
    The Trick with the Cups
    An Execution
    Resurrection of the Criminals
    Mistake in a Head
    The Canary rewarded.
  1. CHAPTER XI
    A Reverse of Fortune
    Cookery and Clockwork
    The Artist's Home
    Invention of an Automaton
    Voluntary Exile
    A modest Villa
    The Inconveniences of a Speciality
    Two August Visitors
    The Throat of a mechanical Nightingale
    The Tiou and the Rrrrrrrrouit
    Seven Thousand Francs earned by making Filings.
  2. CHAPTER XII
    The Inventive Genius of a Sugar-baker
    Philippe the Magician
    His Comic Adventures
    Description of his Performance
    Exposition of 1844
    The King and Royal Family visit my Automata.
  3. CHAPTER XIII
    My proposed Reforms
    I build a Theatre in the Palais Royal
    Formalities
    General Rehearsal
    Singular Effect of my Performance
    The Largest and Smallest Theatre in Paris
    Tribulation
    My first Performance
    Panic
    Discouragement
    A Fallible Prophet
    Recovery
    Success.
  4. CHAPTER XIV
    New Studies
    A Comic Journal
    Invention of Second Sight
    Curious Experiments
    An enthusiastic Spectator
    Danger of being a Sorcerer
    A Philter or your Life
    Way to get rid of Bores
    An Electric Touch
    I perform at the Vaudeville
    Struggles with the Incredulous
    Interesting Details.
  5. CHAPTER XV
    Seductions of a Theatrical Agent
    How to gain One Hundred Thousand Francs
    I start for Brussels
    A lucky Two-Sou Piece
    Miseries of professional Travelling
    The Park Theatre
    Tyranny of a Porter
    Full House
    Small Receipts
    Deceptions
    Return to Paris.
  6. CHAPTER XVI
    Reopening of my Fantastic Soirees
    Minor Miseries of Good Luck
    Inconvenience of a small Theatre
    My Room taken by Storm
    A gratuitous Performance
    A conscientious Audience
    Pleasant Story about a Black Silk Cap
    I perform at the Chateau of St. Cloud
    Cagliostro's Casket
    Holidays.
  7. CHAPTER XVII
    New Experiments
    Aerial Suspension, &c.
    A Performance at the Odéon
    A Friend in Need
    1848
    The Theatre deserted
    I leave Paris for London
    Manager Mitchell
    Publicity in England
    The Great Wizard
    A Butter-mould used as a Puff
    Singular Bills
    A Prize for the best Pun.
  8. CHAPTER XVIII
    The St. James's Theatre
    Invasion of England by French Performers
    A Fete patronised by the Queen
    The Diplomatist and the Sleight-of-Hand Man
    Three Thousand Pounds taken at one Haul
    I perform at Manchester
    The Spectators in the Pillory
    What capital Curacoa!
    A Torrent of Wine
    A Catastrophe
    Performance at Buckingham Palace
    A Wizard's Repast.
  9. CHAPTER XIX
    An Optimist Manager
    Three Spectators in a Room
    A Magical Collation
    The Colchester Public and the Nuts
    I return to France
    I give up my Theatre
    A Farewell Tour
    I retire to St. Gervais
    An Academician's Predictions.
  10. CHAPTER XX
    Travels in Algeria
    Convocation of the Chieftains
    Performances before the Arabs
    A Kabyle rendered powerless
    Invulnerability
    A Moor disappears
    Panic and Flight of the Audience
    Reconciliation
    The Sect of Aissaoua
    Their pretended Miracles.
  11. CHAPTER XXI
    Excursion in the Interior of Africa
    The Abode of a Bash-Aga
    A comical Repast
    A Soiree of Arab Dignitaries
    A Marabout mystified
    rent-life in Algeria
    I return to France
    A terrible Storm
    Conclusion.
  12. CHAPTER XXII
    A Course of Miracles.

word count: 122272 which is equivalent to 489 standard pages of text
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Magic > Biographies & History

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06/27/2017
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