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Profile of skilusion
I am looking for books, pamphlets, mag. articles, etc. on the history of magic but more specifically illusions and illusionist. If you know of any or a good place to look for them please let me know. I want to know more about the art I love and not just perform it. Thanks.
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Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

Profile of ClintonMagus
There are so many books out there, it's hard to figure out where to begin.

First, I would look at some of Jim Steinmeyer's books, especially Jarrett, Hiding the Elephant, and The Magic of Alan Wakeling. They are well-written and entertaining. There are also several books from Mike Caveney's Magic Words and Magical Publications that are good and not that hard to find.

The only drawback to these titles is that they are fairly expensive. A good book with a lot of information about the history of magic and illusionists is The Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher. There have been several editions printed through the years, and it is reasonably priced at many magic and book stores.

Once you get going, you might start looking for some of the hard-to-find books like Thurston's Illusion Show Workbooks, etc.

Good luck.

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Steven Steele
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Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
1904 Posts

Profile of Steven Steele
Paul Osborne published a book last year (2003) regarding the history of the box. It costs about $65 or so, but looks very interesting.

Jim Steinmeyer as posted has written some books, his most recent "Hiding the Elephant" is something I'm reading right now and really enjoying it.

Michael Caveney published books about illusionists every once in a while and they are all fantastic. Check out Magical Publications (that's his publishing arm).

Hope this gets you in the right direction.

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Veteran user
Fayetteville, Arkansas
396 Posts

Profile of magictim
Yes, I have the Osborne book. It has much information from earliest illusions to Copperfield.
Steve Friedberg
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Inner circle
1401 Posts

Profile of Steve Friedberg
Jim's latest book, "Hiding the Elephant," is available at (or for those of us who can't type that much, for 30% off list. If you're a member of their super-secret book club, you get another 10% the book can be yours for about $17.29. (Nothing like approximations, eh?)

I've done it, and shall report back anon.

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Sid Mayer
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Special user
Santa Fe, NM
656 Posts

Profile of Sid Mayer
The Great Illusionists by Edward Dawes is a well organized and well written book. I picked up a remaindered copy at Barnes & Noble a few years ago. It's out of print but shouldn't be hard to find.

All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
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