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Alexander Herrmann

Alexander Herrmann

(Paris, France: 10th February 1844 - 17th December 1896)

Aka "Herrmann the Great". Youngest son of Samuel Herrmann. Learned as an apprentice to older brother Compars Herrmann 1852-59. Thence on his own as a pro with a debut in Spain in 1859. In contrast to the serious style of Compars, Alexander stressed humor in his performances. Became a Mason.

Toured Europe 1859-61, USA 1861-62 (with Compars), Europe and Turkey 1862-67, USA 1867 (with Compars), Europe and South America 1868-69, USA 1869 (with Compars), London 1870-73 (when he played 1,000+ nights at Egyptian Hall). Toured the USA for first time alone 1874-75. In 1875 married Adelaide who was thence his main female assistant. Became a US citizen in 1876. Played Paris in 1878, Brazil in 1883, and Europe (including Portugal) in 1885.

In Paris in 1885 agreed with Compars that Compars would have exclusive performance rights in Europe and Alexander in the Americas. Thence did so, playing the USA except for Mexico (1888).

The biographer is H.J. Burlingame, Herrmann the Magician: His Life, His Secrets (1897, 250pp).

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Alexander Herrmann
Herrmann's Book of Magic by Alexander Herrmann

A complete and practical guide to drawing-room and stage magic for professionals and amateurs, including a complete exposure of the black art.

Excerpt from the introduction:

Do not cultivate quick movements; at the same time it will never do to be painfully slow; but endeavor to present your tricks in an easy-going, quiet, graceful manner. It is generally understood that “the quickness of the hand deceives the eye,” but this is entirely erroneous. It is impossible for the hand to move quicker than the eye can follow, as can be proved by experiment. The deception really lies in the...

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