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Most likely you have never heard about this magic course. When I think about a 'magic gem' I have these 25 volumes in mind. This course could be called the 'British Tarbell Course' and in many respects it is much better than the Tarbell Course. It came out around the same time Tarbell issued his course and it had the same intent, to take a novice, introduce him to magic in a serious and thorough manner and give him all the information to develop him into a performer who can earn a living from performing magic. Rupert Howard's course does not cover as much ground as the Tarbell on trick technique, but quantity is not necessarily equal to quality.
Rupert Howard whose real name was Stuart Raw thought this course through extremely well. Let's start with the production values. The 25 volumes are large format volumes measuring almost 9.5" x 12" (larger than letter size). The covers are color covers and the inside paper is high quality glossy paper. Howard uses both photos and illustrations wherever most appropriate. There is lots of space on the side and sometimes on the bottom of pages for student notes. The structure of his instructions is very methodical and pedagogical. For example he doesn't simply start to explain tricks but rather with
It covers all major forms of magic from cards, coins, ropes, silks, balls, paper, cigarettes, thimbles, mentalism, illusions, escapes, and all the essential parts of the business from marketing to the appropriate dress and attitude.
The 25 lessons are:
1st edition 1931; 556 pages.