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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » History of Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

makulit974
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Hi,

I would like to read about the history of magic, any book you would recommend? Is there a lot of literature on the subject worth reading.
Any suggestion welcome.

Patrick
latentimage
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Annals of Conjuring by Sidney Clarke and Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer would be good places to start. Discovorie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot is considered ground zero for the history of a ton of stuff. Different time periods obviously. How far back do you want to go? Do you want to learn about the art in general or specific magicians throughout history? The evolution of specific effects or just a basic overview?

Allen
"Come to the edge," he said, They Said "We Are Afraid," "Come to the edge," he said, They Came, He Pushed Them...And They Flew. -Apollinaire

"If there be a skeptical star, I was born under it. Yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." -W. MacNeile Dixon
makulit974
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Thank you Allen, these are good places to start indeed. Actually I want to see how far I can go. And from there read until contemporary times. Started reading The discoverie of Witchcraft. I will look for the other 2 you mentioned.
Thanks for that.

Patrick
latentimage
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No Problem. In addition, check out all the books the Miracle Factory has published. The Silence of Chung Ling Soo and Roy Benson by Starlight in particular would help give an understanding of both ends of the Vaudeville period, which was obviously a very important time for magic and the variety arts. These two books would also frame that understanding around two of the most important and influential magicians of those periods. If you want to check out the Annals of Conjuring but find it a bit expensive, the Miracle Factory offers a high quality digital download of the book for a more reasonable price. Many eBooks are bad quality, but I have both the print and digital versions and they are comparable.

I would also recommend reading Our Magic by Maskelyne and Devant at some point. It's not so much a history book, but covers a ton of theory that was and still is universally relevant in the world of magic.

If you ever need help looking for anything specific, let me know. I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Allen
"Come to the edge," he said, They Said "We Are Afraid," "Come to the edge," he said, They Came, He Pushed Them...And They Flew. -Apollinaire

"If there be a skeptical star, I was born under it. Yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." -W. MacNeile Dixon
bdekolta
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I would start with Tarbell v1 Lesson 1 and then move into "The Illustrated History of Magic" by Christopher. That will give you a really broad overview, introduce many of the players and help you decide which areas you want to focus your further studies.

Dan
makulit974
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Thank you Allen and Dan,

I am looking for the rare publications that might not be known. I have Tarbell and read volume 1 with great interest years back. I have read a few french books also and would love to read about magic in africa and asia if you have good sources for these.

Thanks again.

Patrick
Tim Cavendish
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Patrick, do you know about Gibeciere?

http://conjuringarts.org/category/gibeciere/
Tim Cavendish
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As a bonus, Gibeciere back issues and bundles appear to be 30% off until noon on Tuesday (EST).

http://shop.conjuringarts.org/store/pc/G......s-c8.htm
makulit974
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Hi Tim,

I can't say that I did. Now I know and I thank you a lot for that. Some really interesting reads from what I can see on the website.
I will definitely order some issues. Wow can't believe I never came across these.

Thanks again.

Patrick
Tim Cavendish
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If you buy a membership to the Conjuring Arts Research Center, you can have online access to the full run of Gibeciere (one page at a time). And you'll receive a two-issue subscription to the real thing on paper.
mastermindreader
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For classic materials, see Frost's Lives of the Conjurors and Houdini's The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin.

I'd also recommend Ricky Jay's excellent Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.
latentimage
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Quote:
On Dec 2, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:

I'd also recommend Ricky Jay's excellent Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.


I second this one! Thought about mentioning, but I figured it might be a bit too "side show". Mr. Cassidy is most certainly right though! This one can be obtained very affordably.

Can't forget the Hofzinzer books that CA put out if you want to get some serious history behind card magic. Both volumes are excellent. I have also heard the digital Sphinx is a great resource. Don't have a copy yet, but it's on my list.

Best,

Allen
"Come to the edge," he said, They Said "We Are Afraid," "Come to the edge," he said, They Came, He Pushed Them...And They Flew. -Apollinaire

"If there be a skeptical star, I was born under it. Yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." -W. MacNeile Dixon
makulit974
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Thank you all again for your suggestions. My xmas shopping went over the roof. But that kind of knowledge has no price tag!

Regards,

Patrick
Dr. JK
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Jamie's thread here has an excellent recommendation.
- Jeff Kowalk, The Psychic CPA
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