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From the introduction:
I have written this work not as an exposure of the art of Conjuring and Magic, but simply to act as a guide for amateurs and young beginners; therefore I shall enumerate many tricks and illusions that my young friends can perform at home amongst their numerous friends. In addition to this, I shall also enumerate those tricks and illusions which demand a larger amount of room, and also require specially constructed apparatus; such tricks the amateur would do well not to attempt, as they are only suitable for performance on a stage. I shall give a description of most of the numerous tricks and illusions as performed by most of the leading “wizards” of the past and present day. I shall also give a detailed account of many of the so-called spiritualistic illusions, manifestations, and séances, also a few hints and remarks upon the so-called latest novelty, thought-reading. My intention in these pages is to touch on sleight of hand generally, as well as other more particular and effective tricks and illusions. The reader, if he follows diligently the instructions that I will give him, will be able in a short time to astonish his numerous friends with his acquired knowledge.
1st edition 1886, Publisher Ward Lock, 206 pages; PDF 125 pages.word count: 49870 which is equivalent to 199 standard pages of text