(Close Window)
Topic: Help with Professor Hoffmann's "More Magic"
Message: Posted by: Peter Evans (Dec 28, 2005 10:43PM)
My wife recently purchased for me an old copy of Professor Hoffmann's "More Magic". I did some research to see whether it was a 1st edition or otherwise but came up blank. Can anyone help?

The beautiful version I have has a "green" cover and is published by George Routledge & Sons, Ltd, New York : E P Dutton & Co. It contains no reference to a publish date.

Other versions I have found on the Internet have different cover designs & colours.

To confuse me further, I understand there is also a difference between "More Magic ~ 1889" and "More Magic, a Supplement to Modern Magic ~ 1886". I am aware that the book "Modern Magic" was the first of a trilogy of books including "More Magic", & "Later Magic".

The date of the 1st edition is also confusing. Some refer to 1889 and others 1890. And, how many 1st editions were published?

Lots of questions I know but can anyone help me out. Also can anyone advise what is the best resource for obtaining answers to questions involving old magic publications??
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 9, 2006 07:52PM)
Hi Peter, I find that searching on Martinka auctions (make sure you include the old auctions in your search), Abebooks, and Amazon are the best bet to get pricing guidelines.
As for determining the edition of the book, you need an expert to look at the book.

You'd find an expert at the Magic Collectors Association convention. Outside of a large American city, it might be tough to actually find someone who has the knowhow to determine the edition of the book.

In the past I've always found out via the net, the Café, or an email to somebody I discovered on the net to get more knowledge of books I've bought, or are looking for.

Whatever happens, your More Magic is a great find, and if I found any vintage Prof Hoffman books anywhere I'd snap them right up for my collection.
Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (Jan 9, 2006 07:52PM)

You have a later edition, published after 1893, perhaps the first U.S. edition. The first edition is dated 1890 on the title page. No editions were dated 1889, but the book may have made its way to the market for Christmas, 1889, and thus the reason why you see references to an 1889 publication date. There is no such thing as "More Magic, a Supplement to Modern Magic ~ 1886".

There is no single resource for getting good answers to questions like these. The best source is a knowledgeable collector who's been collecting for many years, but see this link for my reply to a similar question:


Most of all, happy reading!

Clay Shevlin
Meminisse Magicam
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 10, 2006 11:05AM)
Hi Clay,

Thanks for that link to your Genii article in the other thread linked to above, I consume every single item I can find on old magic books, and this is a great one.

Message: Posted by: Peter Evans (Jan 14, 2006 06:54AM)
Thanks Silverking & Clay for the information, but unfortunately it's only encouraged me more than ever to found out every thing I can about this book I now own!!

An interesting web site I stumbled across which containing some information provided by Dr. John Henry Grossman on Hoffmann, written in Magicol, Number 35, May 1975, including a copy of the contract that was signed by Hoffmann with Routledge publishing. You may be interested.

The search for more information continues......

Site : http://illusionata.com/mpt/index.php

Copy of contract that was signed by Hoffmann below;

"An Agreement made this 5th day of Jan., 1872 Between A. J. Lewis of No. 12 Crescent Place, Mornington Crescent. Eng. of the one part and George Routledge & Sons of the Broadway Ludgate in the City of London, Publishers of the other part. The said A. J. Lewis having proposed to write a work on the art of conjuring to be entitled "Modern Magic" this agreement witnesseth that he shall write the same for the use and benefit of the said George Routledge and Sons, and he here agrees to dispose of the copyright thereof to them in consideration of One Hundred Pounds payable in the manner hereunder stated, 1st the work is to comprise a volume of four hundred printed pages similar in size to the page used in "Every Boys Book". 2nd George Routledge & Sons are to be entitled to publish the same in portions in their periodical called the "Young Gentleman's Magazine". 3rd They are to pay A. J. Lewis the sum of £25 on account paid conditionally on receipt of one fourth portion of the copy and the remaining fourth and final sum of £75 on or before the 2Oth of Jan. y 1873. Provided all the copy is delivered into their hands. 4th Mr. A. J. Lewis undertakes to furnish without further charge, rough sketches and ideas of the diagrams etc. that are to be used in the aforesaid work. 5th Should the copy of the work not reach the extent of 380 pages, Mr. A. J. Lewis agrees to deduct from the consideration provided to be paid him of 100 pounds a sum of money proportionate to the deficiency. 6th George Routledge & Sons agree to supply Mr. A. J. Lewis with twelve copies of the work when published as a volume. 7th Mr. A. J. Lewis also agrees to furnish Geo. Routledge & Sons with a legal assignment of the copyright at his cost if he should be requested. 8th The book to be written under a nom de plume to be agreed on by both parties and the true name of the author not to be published. In witness whereof the aforesaid parties have herewith set their hands.

A. J. Lewis"

Interesting hey! Are book contracts today as tough as this, although 100 pounds was probably good money in those days!!
Message: Posted by: braddevant (Jun 24, 2006 08:55AM)
Michael Cannick's buyers guide can give some good reference also.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 8, 2006 05:58PM)
Don't forget [i]Latest Magic[/i] and [i]Magical Titbits[/i].