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From the preface:
This book first appeared in 1953 in serial form in Goodliffe's ABRACADABRA. At the time it was the first treatise to be published on the subject and many people were kind enough to say it helped them overcome the difficulties always found in after-dinner shows.
All the information it contained was learned by experience as it was a field in which I specialised. And, although it was written nearly thirty years ago, almost nothing has changed; which is surprising when you consider the sweeping changes in other spheres of entertainment.