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Biographies & History

Magic has a rich and long history. You will read fascinating stories about Houdini, Robert-Houdin and their predecessors, or about long forgotten inventors of today's popular tricks. Maybe you have seen the movie "The Illusionist" or "The Prestige" and want to find out more about magic and some of the tricks from the movies. Here is a great place to start to wet your appetite and then later you can dive into the methods and how to ebooks.

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Displaying 129 to 152 (of 152 products)
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Martin Breese
The Magic of Al Koran by Martin Breese

Martin Breese spent a substantial amount of time to piece together routines and information about Al Koran with the help of many of his friends, people who worked with Al Koran in some form or another, information on audio recordings, magazine articles and many other bits and pieces of information. Originally published in 1983, but revised by Martin Breese before his untimely death in 2012.

The ebook contains virtually every Al Koran effect as performed on TV. It analysis the effect and the method, then provides the exact words of patter as used by Al Koran.

There is a listing of all...

★★★ $25
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Stephen Short
Johnny Hart: International Star of Magic by Stephen Short

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the life and times of one of the UK's major performance artistes, whose illustrious career started in the 1960's and spanned over 40 years. Not only does this ebook provide a carefully researched and fascinating look at Johnny himself, it also shines a light on the general showbiz scene of the same period, as Johnny rubbed shoulders with many of the greats from the entertainment and TV world.

The ebook runs to over 200 pages and is profusely illustrated with playbills and photographs that really help to conjure up a clear vision of showbiz in...

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Anthony Owen
Anthony Owen Talks to Jay Fortune by Anthony Owen

If you want to break into the TV market you have to listen to this. Anthony Owen is currently the most successful TV magic producer in the UK and has worked on the Derren Brown shows, Monkey Magic, Dirty Tricks, The Real Hustle, and many more. And even if you are not trying to become a TV magic star you will hear a lot of great advice for anybody who wants to make a living with magic.

"I thought CDs were out as a way of learning about magic, but this one by Anthony Owen proves I was wrong. You just have to hear him speak to get the full inspirational effect of his amazing story. This is someone...
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Thomas A. Sawyer
Victorian-Age Conjuring Books by Thomas A. Sawyer

A guide for collectors and bibliographers.

This is the first digital-edition of the third edition of Thomas A. Sawyer's Victorian-Age Conjuring Books: A Guide. The first printing of the third edition was a softcover printed book, published in late 2017. That printing consisted of less than 60 copies.

This edition is significantly longer (in terms of the number of words) than the second edition (which itself was longer than the first edition).

In preparing the third edition, Sawyer thoroughly overhauled the second edition (which appeared over 25 years ago), making additions and deletions....

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David Alexander & Richard Kyle
The Magician as Detective by David Alexander & Richard KyleThis product consists of an ebook with two parts and a video. The first part of the ebook is a reproduction of David Alexander's article from the Genii January 2000 issue where he introduced his candidate for Erdnase, Wilbur E. Sanders. The second part is an unpublished booklet titled The S.W. Erdnase Report by Richard Kyle which includes a narrative and several letters to David.

David Alexander and Richard Kyle would speak for hours on the phone exchanging their thoughts, their insights, and their discoveries regarding Erdnase. Richard Kyle would often write a letter to David afterward to memorialize...

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Barton Whaley
Orson Welles: The Man Who Was Magic by Barton Whaley

This Orson Welles ebook is a case study of an individual that was able to think "out of the box". Each small fact presented leads to the whole of a thinking process that will always provide an unexpected Third Option. The process that is presented here is the kernel of all deception theory. It's why Bart is called the "defining expert" of deception and counterdeception (the detection of deception) by the intelligence communities of many countries.

Not only does it personify the Whaley Deception Theory it presents the genius of Orson Welles through all his creative work, not just Citizen Kane....

★★★★★ $30
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Al Mann
Axel Hellstrom by Al Mann

The Life and works of Axel Hellstrom. Contents include:

  • Hellstrom's history
  • Axel Hellstrom's mnemonic system
  • other performers
  • Hellstrom & Houdini & the S.A.M.
Note that this manuscript comes unbound in a package of loose sheets, the way Al Mann stored them. You can bind them anyway you like, or leave them unbound, perhaps only hole punch them and put them in a binder.

19 pages

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Stephen Forrester
Annotated Discovery of Witchcraft by Stephen Forrester

A lucid commentary on the first printed English conjuring text; showing the development of magic tricks from 1584 up to the present day. Written by a magician for magic historians and magicians interested in the beginnings of their art. Including many unpublished references to Reginald Scot with quotations and illustrations from most of the early English books with conjuring from 1584 up to 1784.

The text will show Scot's influence on his contemporaries along with witchcraft beliefs before and after the Discovery of Witchcraft was published. With definitions of old English words in the text, a bibliography of...

★★★★★ $30
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Christian Scherer
Magicians in Action 1980 - 2015: A-H by Christian Scherer

A unique documentary containing photos accompanied by autobiographical and anecdotal texts, featuring 250 magicians from 28 nations. This first volume includes names from A-H:

  • Foreword by Eberhard Riese
  • Introduction
  • About the Author
  • A
    • Adrian Guerra
    • Alan Shaxon
    • Aldo Colombini
    • Alexander Lehmann
    • Alexis
    • Alex Porter
    • Alfred Kellerhof
    • Ali Bongo
    • Almeico
    • Amos Levkovitch
    • Anatoli Kartashkin
    • Andreas Axmann
    • André Dubach
    • Andy Mayno
    • Arino
    • Arsène Lupin
  • B
    • Bagattello
    • Bellachini XIII
    • Bert Rex
    • Blake Eduarado
    • Bob Little
    • Bob Sheets
    • Boretti
    • Boris Wild
    • Buccini
  • C
    • Camilo Vásquez
    • Carlos Barragàn
    • ChaPeau ...
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Christian Scherer
Magicians in Action 1980 - 2015: I-O by Christian Scherer

A unique documentary containing photos accompanied by autobiographical and anecdotal texts, featuring 250 magicians from 28 nations. This second volume includes names from I-O:

  • I
    • Irina
    • Ivan Matveyevich Necheporenko
  • J
    • Jad
    • Jakob Mathias
    • Jan Logemann
    • Jean de Merry
    • Jean Olivier
    • Jean-Philippe Loupi
    • Jochen Zmeck
    • John Carney
    • Johnny Lonn
    • Jörg Alexander
    • Jörg Willich
    • José Carroll
    • Juan Carlos Rodarte
    • Julius Frack
    • Juno
  • K
    • Kovari
    • Kuli
    • Kurt Freitag
  • L
    • Lars Herren
    • L'Enchanteur
    • Lennart Green
    • Leo Nifosi
    • Lionel
    • Little Green
    • Lorenz Schär
    • Lou DeMilla
    • Lubor Fiedler
    • Lucca ...
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Christian Scherer
Magicians in Action 1980 - 2015: P-Z by Christian Scherer

A unique documentary containing photos accompanied by autobiographical and anecdotal texts, featuring 250 magicians from 28 nations. This third volume includes names from P-Z:

  • P
    • Pad Alexander
    • Pat Page
    • Pat Perry
    • Patrice Curt
    • Patrick Lehnen
    • Paul Gertner
    • Paul Harris
    • Pavel
    • Pedro
    • Pedro Lacerda
    • Peps Zoller
    • Perkeo
    • Perplex & Tiffany
    • Peter Honegger
    • Peter Löhmann
    • Peter Paul Merlin
    • Peter's Magic Show
    • Peter Woerde - De Valsspeler
    • Phantomas / The Magic Phantoms
    • Philius
    • Pierric
    • Pino Pan
    • Pit Hartling
    • Pop Haydn
    • Professor Dr. Bindli
  • R
★★★★★ $30
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Thomas A. Sawyer
Rethinking S.W. Erdnase by Thomas A. Sawyer

This is the first digital-edition of Thomas A. Sawyer's Rethinking S.W. Erdnase, which was first published in a small hardcover-edition (of about 105 copies) in late 2015.

The book has an in-depth discussion of different approaches that might be considered in attempting to figure out who S.W. Erdnase was. Many people probably tend to "shoot from the hip," and to use intuition and common sense. Those are not necessarily the best tools available.

Rethinking S.W. Erdnase includes a fair amount of information regarding Frederic J. Drake & Co., including images relating to the 1912 Drake catalog...

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Thomas A. Sawyer
Professor Hoffmann and his Conjuring Serials of 1872-1888 by Thomas A. Sawyer

This is the first digital-edition of Thomas A. Sawyer's Professor Hoffmann and His Conjuring Serials of 1872-1888. The first printing was a softcover printed book, published in late 2016. That printing consisted of less than 60 copies, so the book is not in wide circulation, and in fact even its existence is not well known.

What is there about the contents of the book that could make it well worthwhile?

Chapter 1 is called "Angelo Lewis in Perspective." That chapter is an overview of Professor Hoffmann. It alludes to several of Hoffmann's books, inside and outside of magic, that can be considered classics. ...

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Martin T. Hart
Piddington's Secrets: We know How They Did It! by Martin T. Hart

We know how they did it! The Piddington's were a 1949 husband and wife telepathy act who seemed able to transmit their thoughts to each other, even across vast distances. They could do this without talking.

Finally, the unfathomable mystery behind the world's most baffling telepathy act is revealed after 70 years of silence. Martin T Hart takes us on a fascinating and detailed journey into the lives of 'The Amazing Piddingtons' and deep inside the cunning methods that fooled a global generation. To this day no magician or scientist has ever discovered how Sydney was able to transmit his thoughts...

★★★★★ $37.50
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Chris Wasshuber
Samuel Cox Hooker and his Rising Cards by Chris Wasshuber

Dr. Samuel Cox Hooker's Rising Cards have been an unexplainable fascination for nearly a century. Hooker first showed his effect in 1914, and in 1993 and 2007 John Gaughan gave abbreviated performances. Nobody who has seen the Hooker Rising Cards performed has ever been able to explain how such effects can be accomplished. This includes the most notable and most knowledgeable magicians from past and present. How can, from a borrowed and shuffled deck, any card called for rise in the fairest possible manner on a well lit stage only a few feet from the spectators?

This work is not just about...

★★★★★ $39
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Paul Voodini
Victorian Seance and the Birth of Mentalism by Paul Voodini

Paul Voodini presents Victorian Seance and the Birth of Mentalism, recounting the rise of Spiritualism in the 1800s, the antics, tricks, and techniques of the fraudulent mediums, and how this led directly to the birth of that branch of the magical arts known as 'mentalism.'

This detailed manuscript outlines and explains such techniques and methods as mesmerism and hypnosis, table-tipping, slates, automatic writing, book tests, 'reading' techniques and Q&A, spirit manifestations, the Ouija board, and much, much more. The text also touches on escapology, quick change, and other magical techniques. ...

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Hurt McDermott
Artifice, Ruse & Erdnase by Hurt McDermott

"Frankly, I find your approach the most careful and cautious of all that have been published." - Bart Whaley

"Hurt's book is very good writing on a subject I care about. I enjoyed it tremendously and learned a great deal in the process. I think you will, too." - Richard Hatch

The search for one who may not want to be found.

In 1902 under the pseudonym S.W. Erdnase and the title Artifice, Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table a book on sleight-of-hand with cards was published. This book became the bible for card magicians. To this date it remains arguably the single most important book on sleight-of-hand card magic. Some of the most respected masters of card magic,...

★★★★ $45
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Chris Wasshuber
The Hunt For Erdnase: and the Path to Edward Gallaway by Chris Wasshuber

The hunt to find the true identity of S. W. Erdnase, the author of The Expert at the Card Table, published in 1902 in Chicago, has been raging for more than a century. The book is as revered by gamblers and magicians as the Bible is by Christians.

One of the first and most active Erdnase hunters was well-known science writer, puzzle expert, and magician Martin Gardner, who erroneously thought he identified cardshark and murderer Milton Franklin Andrews as being Erdnase. After Andrews many other candidates were proposed, but none had a case strong enough to withstand scrutiny. None wrote like Erdnase, nor had sufficient opportunity, nor even a...

★★★★★ $45
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Barton Whaley & Martin Gardner & Jeff Busby
The Man Who Was Erdnase by Barton Whaley & Martin Gardner & Jeff Busby

This book won the SAM Special Library Award. It details Martin Gardner's, Jeff Busby's and Bart Whaley's search to uncover the person hiding behind the pseudonym S.W. Erdnase. It lays out in detail the case for Milton Franklin Andrews. It describes the life of Andrews, how he started with magic, and how he transitioned to become a cardshark, including his travels around the word hustling and cheating to make a living.

A detailed analysis of Erdnase's likely sources and inspirations, as well as other information about the book, its reprints, and other pertinent information will help every Erdnase researcher....

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Robert Harbin
The Robert Harbin Book by Robert Harbin

This is a digital facsimile version of the original hardcover book. [The one hardcover I had left has sold. Sorry.]

Back in the 1970s Martin Breese had the chance to record Robert Harbin on one of his early Magicassette releases. The Harbin Magicassette probably rates as the most popular of his recordings.

In 1983 Martin asked the late Owen Griffith to transcribe the words from the Harbin Magicassette. The late and great Eric Mason created the illustrations for The Harbin Book. One day at a business trade fair Martin saw a full scale photo litho printing machine being demonstrated and decided to leap in to the deep end and he bought the demonstration machine and had...

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David Britland
Chan Canasta: A Remarkable Man Volume 1 by David Britland

Chan Canasta (1920 to 1999) was something of a TV sensation in the 1950s as one of Britain's leading mentalists. His blend of psychology and traditional conjuring which he called psychmagic, was a breath of fresh air. This beautifully ebook is a unique record of his mentalist effects and unique entertaining style.

"Martin has excelled himself with the production values. It looks beautiful; maybe it is the most attractive looking book I have ever seen. If you are interested in Canasta then you will have to buy the book." - Peter Zenner

"I'm not sure that there have been other books quite like this....

★★★★ $49
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Barton Whaley
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic by Barton Whaley

This is a new edition of the famous and unique magic dictionary by Bart Whaley. Bart has continued to correct entries in this dictionary until the present. We have converted everything to PDF and added bookmarks for each entry in the dictionary as well as inserted thousands of hyperlinked cross-references to make browsing and using this dictionary as convenient as possible.

There is simply no other such encyclopedia. Some have tried but nobody has achieved what Bart Whaley has. The depth and breadth is mind boggling. Almost 4000 terms are described. This is the absolute must have magic desk...

★★★★ $50
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Barton Whaley
Who's Who In Magic by Barton Whaley

New updated edition.

This biographical guide lists over 5,500 men and women associated with the art of conjuring from earliest recorded times to the present: performers, inventors, writers, teachers, dealers, manufacturers, publishers, collectors, historians, and showmen of magic. Several are included from the so-called allied arts of magic. Thus it gives those whose deceptions or careers directly influenced magicians, such as pseudo-psychics and card sharps; and those who share many deceptive methods with magicians, such as escapologists, mentalists, and stage pickpockets and hypnotists....

★★★★ $50
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Christian Scherer
Magicians in Action 1980 - 2015 (all three volumes) by Christian Scherer

A unique documentary containing photos accompanied by autobiographical and anecdotal texts, featuring 250 magicians from 28 nations.

The photos were taken by the author from 1980 to 2015 during performances of the magicians in Europe. The texts were contributed by the artists. Foreword by Eberhard Riese.

"A Special Book. An extraordinary book. A history of magic of a different kind." - Eberhard Riese

"These large, beautiful volumes provide an opportunity to spend time with hundreds of magicians who share - in their own words - anecdotes, philosophy, and a bit of themselves. This is...

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Displaying 129 to 152 (of 152 products)
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