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lint
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Anyone know if "An Illustrated History of White Magic before Robert-Houdin" By Fanch Guillemin is still available anywhere? it looks great.

-todd
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Bill Palmer
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The book is not as much about magic, in the sense that we use it here, but about the theatre. There are some illusions, such as Pepper's Ghost, as well as some material about spiritualism and some work relating to Black Art and some odd optical pieces. There is no secret that Robinson contributed some of the material. So did H. Ridgeley Evans. Much of this is in the introduction to the book.

One of my favorite books, although not as old as the Hopkins book is Illustrated Magic by Ottokar Fischer. It's fairly common.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2008-03-23 02:15, Bill Palmer wrote:
There is no secret that Robinson contributed some of the material. So did H. Ridgeley Evans. Much of this is in the introduction to the book.




Is there more than one extant introduction? My 1976 Dover edition has an introduction by Evans, but it is a "historical" introduction, and makes no mention of the source material for the book. As far as I can tell, Evans's name does not show up anywhere else in the book.

In the introduction (p.21) Evans credits Robinson for supplying biographical information about Alexander Hermann. I can find no other mention of Robinson in the book.

I'm certainly not well informed on these issues. Is there some other source of which you are aware? Or is this some "common knowledge" amongst those better informed on magical history than I am?

Thanks

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Bill Palmer
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I mis stated this. The information is in the Preface.

Evans did contribute the Introduction.

Posted: Mar 23, 2008 3:40pm
I should also add:

It might be of more value to look up biographical information about Hopkins. One of the reasons that we were able to "bust" Adrian Smith's claim that H.L. Williams had written the Cremer books was that he was too young.

I would find out as much about Hopkins as I could before pursuing the topic further.

The topic holds no interest for me whatsoever. However, if you are interested in pursuing it, check the LOC listings first. Remember that they are not always accurate, either, though. Look for biographical information.

There are at least two different editions of the Hopkins book. I'm not referring printings, but distinct editions.

One is the 1897 edition. I think the second edition may have been 1902.
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benrl
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Now that Washington, DC has memorialized FDR, I think a Bill Palmer likeness is the next project. I cannot believe the extraordinary contributions Bill makes to our art.
Bill Palmer
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I haven't really made any. I just try to point them out.

BTW, I did find one source that says Robinson may have contributed more to the book than previously thought. However, it was not one that had any supporting evidence whatsoever.

Bear in mind that in 1897, much of the material about magic in that book had already been published elsewhere.
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fortasse
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Bill makes an important point about the recycling of material in these 19th century magic books. It really is amazing how new "authors" would come along and simply reproduce a pre-existing book or whole chapters of previously published books without any attribution or acknowledgement whatever. This is particularly true for 19th century Cups & Balls French and English literature much of which is a regurgitation of Guyot's book. The ideas we have today about intellectual property theft and copyright piracy meant next to nothing to most of these authors.

Fortasse
Todd Karr
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I agree that republishing historical material without verifying the facts is not good journalism or research. And because everyone relies on magic history books for their facts, it's especially important to get it right. Otherwise, the wrong information can get repeated for decades or more. Clarke gave few sources for his material, and Eddie Dawes, Bob Read, and I spent a year rechecking everything and found sources for about 98% of the Annals' statements. You'll see where we corrected errors if you check the extra material and endnotes we added. We all agreed that the Beni Hassan illustration is not the Cups and Balls and doesn't even look remotely like them and we didn't want to ignorantly perpetuate this myth, though we mentioned Clarke's view if you read the endnote carefully. I think much more significant are the early Greek writers who discussed seeing Cups and Balls performances.
Richard Evans
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Quote:
On 2008-03-21 22:57, Bill Palmer wrote:
The Annals of Conjuring was originally a series published in The Magic Wand

When David Meyer assembled all of the issues, they retained their original pagination in the upper left/upper right corners, but David inserted new page numbers at the bottoms of the pages. So, on page 8 of the Meyer edition, is the famous Beni Hasan sketch with the caption below "Cups and Balls in Ancient Egypt."

If Todd Karr edited that out, shame on him.


Todd Karr's reprint of Annals is a huge improvement on the original because it points out the errors that appeared in the original publications via contributions from luminaries such as Eddie Dawes, Bob Read an Bill Kalush.

The Beni Hasan image in the Miracle Factory edition has a legend reading 'Entertainment in Ancient Egypt' (which differs from the Meyer edition). The notes at the back of the book make reference to the fact that Clarke believed that the mural depicted the cups & balls, but points out that most authorities no longer believe that this is the case.
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Bill Palmer
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That's a good reason to make the changes. I don't have the Miracle Factory edition, but eventually one will make its way into my library.

I ran into some similar problems with the Hanussen book that I just translated for Jimmy Bix. There is a much bigger problem with Hanussen. His actual history is not well documented. There is almost too much documentation. Much of what exists is contradictory. So, in Hanussen's case, it boils down to whom you find more credible -- Hanussen or his opponents. Considering the wide range of opponents he had and their motives, it becomes very difficult.

For example, do you trust Hanussen or the Nazis? Do you trust Hanussen or the Czech government? In both cases, the agendas do not speak for themselves.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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fortasse
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The Miracle Factory edition of Annals is an incredibly well produced book........ and a treasure trove for magicians and historians of the craft. This is a book for the ages.

Fortasse
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