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Topic: Maskelyne : The War Illusionist
Message: Posted by: airship (Dec 9, 2008 10:54AM)
Just saw a one-hour show on the History Channel last night on Jasper Maskelyne's contributions to the British Army in WWII, focusing on his camouflage work in Egypt. Fascinating stuff. Here's a link where you can purchase the DVD from the History Channel Store:

http://shop.history.com/detail.php?a=74370#details
Message: Posted by: Dr. Delusion (Dec 9, 2008 11:49AM)
My son and I watched that as well. That was a great show, I never knew he was involved in the war effort that way.
Bob.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 9, 2008 11:57AM)
There's a web page supposedly offering a more factual account of his involvement in the war effort

http://www.maskelynemagic.com/
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 9, 2008 02:06PM)
The War Magician (book by David Fisher on which the History Channel show was based) and the War Illusionist show were both fascinating; however, the web site referenced in the preceding post by Payne gives a much more accurate description of Maskelyne's role in WWII based on extensive research by Richard Stokes and debunks many of the claims made in Fisher's book. Not unlike Houdini, Maskelyne was not only a master of magic, but of self-promotion as well. For fun and fantasy read Fisher, for historical accuracy read Stokes.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Dec 9, 2008 02:09PM)
Yes, there is a lot of discussion how much is really true of this tale. You should read the story on the website.

Richard
Message: Posted by: airship (Dec 10, 2008 11:40AM)
Thanks for the link, Payne.

History often seems to suffer at the hands of sensationalists and self-promoters. I don't mind a good historical yarn, as long as it is presented as such. When it's presented as fact, it offends me.

I'm glad there is still at least one good scholar out there trying to set the record straight.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 12, 2008 12:09PM)
But that's pretty much the essence of written history. As the old saying goes "written by the winners."

[quote]
On 2008-12-10 12:40, airship wrote:
Thanks for the link, Payne.

History often seems to suffer at the hands of sensationalists and self-promoters. I don't mind a good historical yarn, as long as it is presented as such. When it's presented as fact, it offends me.

I'm glad there is still at least one good scholar out there trying to set the record straight.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 13, 2008 02:06PM)
That's the way it used to be, but now that so many people have computers, history is being written by anyone. Many of them are "losers."