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From the Foreword:
Some years ago I went to see a performance by the late Imro Fox, a clever conjurer, that pleased me very much. The curtain rose on a gloomy cavern, in the middle of which stood a smoking caldron, fed by witches à la Macbeth. An aged necromancer, habited in a long robe covered with cabalistic characters, entered. He went through certain incantations, whereupon hosts of demons appeared and danced a weird ceremonial dance about the caldron. Suddenly, amid a crash of thunder and a blinding flash of lightning, the wizard’s cave was metamorphosed into a twentieth century drawing-room, fitted up for a conjuring séance; and the decrepit sorcerer was changed into a smiling gentleman in evening dress, who began his up-to-date presentation of modern magic. He disclaimed all pretensions to the occult, and attributed his effects entirely to sleight of hand and ingenious mechanism. In this exhibition was epitomized the entire history of the magic art. Beginning in ancient times as an actual effort to propitiate the powers of light and darkness, to suspend at will the laws of Nature, to discover the destiny of man in the movements of the stars, to dispel sickness and the plague by incantations, to ward off demoniacal influences and the like, magic gradually assumed its present form as an amusing exhibition based on dexterity of hand and the wonders of optics, acoustics, electricity, and mechanics, with nothing supernatural about it.
1st edition 1927, 87 pages; PDF 85 pages.word count: 36240 which is equivalent to 144 standard pages of text
- CHAPTER I History Of Natural Magic
- CHAPTER II Schools Of Magic
- CHAPTER III The Psychology Of Magic
- CHAPTER IV The Woes Of Wizards
- CHAPTER V The Wizard’s Wand
- CHAPTER VI An Ancient Sleight-Of-Hand Trick
- CHAPTER VII The Chevalier Pinetti
- CHAPTER VIII The Princes Of Pasteboards
- CHAPTER IX The Masters Of Modern Magic
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