It is believed that the present work occupies a unique field in the extensive literature of magic.
There are already a large number of treatises on natural magic and legerdemain, but in most of them very little attention has been given to the exposé of stage illusions, which are of great interest as they are so largely based on ingenious applications of scientific principles.
Optics, mechanics, sound, and electricity have all been pressed into service by the fin de siècle prestidigitateur.
In the present work great attention has been paid to elaborate tricks of this nature, and in many cases the exposés have been obtained from the prestidigitateurs themselves.
In the first few chapters many of the best illusions of Robert-Houdin, Dr. Lynn, Professor Pepper, Bautier de Kolta, Heller, Herrmann, Maskelyne and Cooke, and Kellar will be found clearly explained.
Conjuring tricks have been by no means neglected, but the number of them which are given has been limited, owing to the fact that many of the books on magic have gone into this subject quite extensively.
Ventriloquism, shadowgraphy, mental magic, etc., will also be found treated in the present work.
The chapters relating to “Ancient Magic” take up the temple tricks of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman thaumaturgists, as well as a number of automata which are very interesting in view of their very early epoch.
It is believed this will be found a particularly entertaining feature of the book….
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