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The Life of a Showman
by David Prince Miller

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The Life of a Showman by David Prince Miller

This is a wonderful account of a traveling showman's trials and tribulations in England and Scotland during the middle of the 19th century. Among other things, he was a conjurer. While this is not a book of tricks, one coin trick is explained as part of one story of his life. But much more interesting are the descriptions of various scams and the modus operandi of various ways to defraud the public by traveling hucksters the author encountered. The operation of the thimble rig is explained in detail. It is an account of how traveling showmen struggled essentially their entire life to make ends meet.

This book really surprised me with how well-written and thus readable it is. If you want to spend an enjoyable evening or afternoon I can highly recommend it.

1st edition 1849, 147 pages; PDF 91 pages.
word count: 59463 which is equivalent to 237 standard pages of text

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Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History

Magic & Conjuring / Published 1800-1899