In the late twenties Larsen & Wright (William Larsen, Sr. and T. Page Wright) were prominent names in magic. They produced a flood of contributions to magic magazines, over one hundred in The Sphinx alone in 1927-28 (so many in fact that The Sphinx felt compelled to publish much of it under a variety of pseudonyms). But in addition there were the Larsen & Wright publications, a large series of printed books and manuscripts offering a mass of original material not appearing in the periodicals.
When T. Page Wright died tragically in 1930, he left behind the finished manuscript for a mooted book. Incredibly, this massive manuscript of original material consisted entirely of previously unpublished material. None of Larsen & Wright's previous contributions to periodicals, books and manuscripts were recycled here; yet the manuscript runs to some 135,000 words.
The reader will find here material for close-up, parlor, club and Stage. But nothing here requires apparatus of any sort. This is purely hand magic. Nothing is required beyond the small objects the audience sees, thimbles, cigarettes, handkerchiefs and cards.
Virtually all of the content originated with Wright and his three magical intimates Bill Larsen, Judson Brown and Jack McMillen. Occasionally, material previously in print is introduced when Wright feels previous descriptions have been inadequate and he takes the opportunity to supply the missing details of handling that are so important. Much of the material is drawn from Wright's personal working repertoire.
Technically, it must be referred to as a book on "general magic," as it contains material on cards, thimbles, cigarettes and mentalism. But, cards dominate the content so completely that for all practical purposes this must inevitably be thought of as a book on card magic.
This would have been an influential book, an important book, had it been released in 1930 as planned and it remains a valuable text today. Many seminal ideas first appear (or would have) here. But it is perhaps even more exciting to unearth less well known but equally deserving items. They are certainly here and awaiting discovery.
After Wright's untimely death, Mr. Larsen mined the manuscript for additional contributions to The Sphinx and, starting in 1936, for his own publication, Genii. But, reading the manuscript in its original form, in toto, gives us a portrait of Wright the performer, and for the era itself, we could not get from reading the articles piecemeal.
This edition is based on a complete carbon copy of the original typewritten manuscript, 275 numbered typewritten pages. It was generously offered to us by Jack McMillen, who knew Mr. Wright intimately from 1925-1929. No material was added to the original manuscript. Some of the language has been tightened, but the changes have been merely grammatical. Absolutely no content has been altered or removed.
All entries bolded in the table of contents below are not included in the earlier printed edition of the Page Wright Manuscript published by Daniel's Den.
1st edition 2012, 362 pages.
Table of Contents
word count: 135414 which is equivalent to 541 standard pages of text