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Professor Hoffmann

Professor Hoffmann

(23rd July 1839 - 23rd December 1919)

Born in London, England. Pen name of Angelo John Lewis, a barrister (since 1861 - see Angelo J. Lewis of the Chancery Bar by Thomas A. Sawyer) and writer. Amateur magician since learning in the early 1860s from a book and then lessons from Hellis (in 1873) and Charlier. In 1873 he undertook a series of articles titled 'Modern Magic' for Routledge's every boy's annual, which launched his career as the most prolific and influential magic author and translator until modern times. SAM Hall of Fame.

Coauthors: Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Arthur Good

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Professor Hoffmann
Baccarat Fair and Foul by Professor Hoffmann

Being an explanation of the game, and a warning against its dangers.

Excerpt from the preface:

A good deal of public curiosity has been of late aroused respecting the game of Baccarat. The present work is designed, in the first place, to satisfy such curiosity by giving an explanation of the game and a statement of its laws. But it has also a second object. There is perhaps no game which so lends itself to the arts of the card-sharper as Baccarat, and if it be true that "in vain the net is spread in sight of any bird," an exposition of the frauds to which the honest player is liable should...

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Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann
Card Sharping Exposed by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann

A translation of Les Trickeries des Grecs by M. Robert-Houdin, one of the most valuable and interesting works on the subject of card sharping.

Excerpt from the preface:

Meanwhile, the march of science has continued, and the arts of deception, like other arts, have received many new developments. There are fashions in fraud, as in more innocent matters. I have endeavoured in the present pages not only to offer a faithful translation of Robert-Houdin's text, but by the aid of notes to bring down his work, so to speak, to present date. In so doing I have to acknowledge special obligation...

★★★★★ $12
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Arthur Good & Professor Hoffmann
Magic at Home by Arthur Good & Professor Hoffmann

A wonderfully illustrated collection of 100 interesting and easy-to-replicate science experiments, tricks, puzzles, and the like.

Excerpt from the preface:

Each of the hundred sections embodies a distinct scientific recreation, sometimes a mere puzzle or test of dexterity, but more often illustrating, in a magical or quasi-magical form, the operation of some natural law. Chemistry, Mechanics, Optics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics.

Translated and edited from the French Science Amusante by Professor Hoffmann.

  • A Plate Balanced on a Needle
  • To Balance a Pencil on its Point
  • To...
★★★★★ $10
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Professor Hoffmann
Conjurer Dick by Professor Hoffmann

This is a lovely story of a boy wizard growing up to become a conjurer. While this is not autobiographical, Angelo Lewis clearly incorporated aspects of his own experience and life into this novel. For example, one of his teachers of card sleight-of-hand, M. Charlier, makes an appearance as Monsieur Ledoyen. This was the first book that had his pseudonym, Professor Hoffmann, as well as his real name, Angelo J. Lewis, on the cover.

Interesting for magicians is that every trick that features in this novel is explained. While the explanations are not very detailed, they are enough to reveal...

★★★★ $6
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Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann
The Secrets of Stage Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann

Translated by Professor Hoffmann.

  • CHAPTER I. The Theatre Of Robert-Houdin
  • CHAPTER II. A Conjuror’s Stage Arrangements
  • CHAPTER III. Handkerchief Tricks
  • CHAPTER IV. The Light And Heavy Chest
  • CHAPTER V. The Hundred Candles Lighted By A Pistol Shot
  • CHAPTER VI. The Ghost Illusion
  • CHAPTER VII. The Indian Basket Trick
  • CHAPTER VIII. Spiritualistic Manifestations
  • CHAPTER IX. The Bust Of Socrates
  • CHAPTER X. A Curious Effect In Acoustics
  • CHAPTER XI. The Decapitated Speaking
  • CHAPTER XII. The Protean Cabinet
  • CHAPTER XIII. The Feats Of The Davenport Brothers
  • CHAPTER XIV. The Enchanted...
★★★★★ $5
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Professor Hoffmann
Tricks with Cards: A Complete Manual of Card Conjuring by Professor Hoffmann

A complete manual of card conjuring. This is not identical to the card sections in Hoffmann's other books such as Modern Magic etc. But this book has been released in sections under the titles Card Tricks With Apparatus and Card Tricks Without Apparatus since 1893. It appears Hoffmann was not too happy about breaking it up into parts.

    • To Make the Pass
    • To Make the Pass with both Hands
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 1
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 2
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 3
    • To Force a Card
    • To Force a Person to Think...
★★★★★ $15
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Professor Hoffmann
King Koko: A Conjuring Entertainment in the Form of a Fairy Tale by Professor Hoffmann

King Koko is a satirical performance piece, written for the stage by the one and only Professor Hoffmann.

Your audiences will love this amusing farce about a colorful King, his beautiful daughter, her fairy godmother, and the two suitors that are trying to win her hand in marriage. Along the way, 20 magical illusions are performed that add to the enchanting tale.

The effects are taught in Hoffmann's clear, concise style with twenty-seven illustrations.

From the Introduction by B.W. McCarron:

"The tale that you are about to experience has a charm and magic about it that is equal to that of a Disney...

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Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann
The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann

The original title is Les Secrets de la Prestidigitation et de la Magie. It was the collection of lessons and information Robert-Houdin intended to teach his sons to make them expert magicians. However, his sons did have other interests, mechanics and military, which led him to publish his recordings as book. Prof. Hoffmann has translated this masterpiece into English.

  • Editor's Preface
  • Author's Preface
  • Introduction
  • Home of Robert-Houdin
  • Conjuring and Its Professors
  • Art of Conjuring
  • Coin Conjuring
  • General Principles
  • Coin Tricks
  • Card Conjuring
  • Sundry Expedients
  • Cups and Balls
  • Various Tricks ...
★★★★★ $9
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Professor Hoffmann
Herrman's Tricks with Cards by Professor Hoffmann

This is a reprint of the sections dealing with card magic from Professor Hoffmann's Modern Magic. There are however six new pages (four in the front and two in the back) which are entitled "Canfield's Expose". These six pages expose scams such as 'short changing', the 'soap game', the 'spindle game', ...

Reprint is too kind a word, rip-off is more appropriate since this was an unauthorized republication of Hoffmann's material. Also interesting to note is that the correct spelling of Herrmann is with two r's and two n's, the book title however only shows one n. Probably a deliberate error to avoid legal troubles. (Information...

★★★★★ $2
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Professor Hoffmann
Magical Titbits by Professor Hoffmann

After writing Later Magic, Professor Hoffmann intended to follow it with a fourth book. However, advancing age and other engagements compelled him to abandon it. Nevertheless he wrote this volume, which is not really a part of his trilogy, but functioned as a place to put the material he already collected. A few Hartz items in this book have been already dealt with in Later Magic. Otherwise the contents is new.

It is interesting to note that although Hoffmann writes in the preface to Magical Titbits that he abandoned the book which should have followed Later Magic, he authored in 1918 a book called Latest Magic which according to the...

★★★★★ $6
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Professor Hoffmann
Latest Magic by Professor Hoffmann

Latest Magic is the last book in Hoffmann's series Modern Magic, More Magic and Later Magic. Hoffmann had quite some problem finding a publisher for this book. The reason being the quality of the contents. When Modern Magic came out it explained new tricks and tricks which were performed at the time. Thus it was indeed 'modern'. It is also without a doubt the best book in the series. Latest Magic describes Hoffmann's own creations and dealt with a magic which was already considered old fashioned. From a historical perspective it still makes quite an interesting read.

1st edition, 1918, Spon & Chamberlain, New York; 2nd edition, 1919; 222...

★★★★★ $6
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Professor Hoffmann
Later Magic by Professor Hoffmann

It is the third volume of the Hoffmann trilogy. The 1911 edition was expanded by almost 200 pages with the chapters 'New Miscellaneous Tricks' and 'Recollections of Hartz the Wizard'. This expanded 1911 edition is what you will get here. This book was rated one of the ten basic books for a working library of conjuring by H. Adrian Smith, historian, collector and owner of the largest private magic library in his time. Other books in this top 10 list are

★★★★★ $9
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Professor Hoffmann
More Magic by Professor Hoffmann

This is the second volume of the Hoffmann trilogy. If you liked Modern Magic you will love More Magic. There is too much to list. Refer to the 'Table of Contents' below for details. This book was rated one of the ten basic books for a working library of conjuring by H. Adrian Smith, historian, collector and owner of the largest private magic library in his time. Other books in this top 10 list are

★★★★★ $6.50
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Professor Hoffmann
Modern Magic by Professor Hoffmann

Every generation a magician comes along, whose intention is to record magic in an encyclopedic fashion. Professor Hoffmann was the first in recorded history to attempt such a feat with his trilogy Modern Magic, More Magic, and Later Magic. Certainly many magic books have been published before him, mostly copying from each other. But none reaches the depth and breadth of Prof. Hoffmann's work. The material in these three books records the state of the art of magic in the late 19th century. Today we know more tricks and we have also refined our techniques and methods. But it is astounding how much was already known...

★★★★ $7.50
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Professor Hoffmann
Home Gymnastics by Professor Hoffmann

This book teaches exercises with dumb-bells, pulley-weights and elastic strings. You also get a good introduction into the theory of exercising, the body and its muscles. And it also has a chapter on obesity, which couldn't be more timely.

Published 1899 by George Routledge and Sons; 63 illustrations; 199 pages.

  1. Chapter I: Introduction
  2. Chapter II: The Physiology of Exercise
  3. Chapter III: The Various Forms of Exercise
  4. Chapter IV: How and When to Exercise
  5. Chapter V: The Muscles of the Body
  6. Chapter VI: The Dumb-Bells and Exercises Therewith
  7. Chapter VII: The Pulley-Weight Apparatus ...
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Professor Hoffmann
Patience with the Joker by Professor Hoffmann

Very rare set of original games making use of the Joker card, invented by Angelo John Lewis and published under his stage name. You will find games for one and two players.

Goodall, London, 1907; 48 pages.

  1. Preface
  2. Technical Terms used in Patience Games
  3. Odd and Even
  4. The Stepping-Stones
  5. Whist Patience
  6. Baccarat Patience
  7. The Double X Ray
  8. The Scorpion
  9. The Chessboard
  10. The Seven Squares
  11. The Captive Queens
  12. The Railway Junction
  13. Patchwork Patience
  14. The Four Bridges
  15. Peg Out
  16. The Race
  17. The Flower Show
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Professor Hoffmann
Illustrated Book of Patience Games by Professor Hoffmann

Learn 63 fun and stimulating patience games from this book. A deck of cards, a flat surface and you are ready to challenge and entertain yourself. This is a translation from the German book Illustriertes Buch der Patiencen.

5th Edition, Routledge, London, 1904; 123 pages.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Wish
  3. The Star
  4. Hope
  5. The Amazons
  6. The Harvest
  7. Royal Marriage
  8. Quadrille
  9. Caesar
  10. Nestor
  11. Hidden Cards
  12. The Dial (No. 1)
  13. The Dial (No. 2)
  14. Elevens (No. 1)
  15. Elevens (No. 2)
  16. Robert
  17. The Pyramid
  18. The Five Court Cards
  19. The Talkative
  20. The Four Seasons
  21. Thirteens
  22. The Fairest (No. 1)
  23. The Fairest (No. 2) ...
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