The reader, if he follows diligently the instructions that I will give him, will be able in a short time to astonish his numerous friends with his acquired knowledge. Of course, he cannot expect to be a Robert Houdin... in a week, a month, or even year, because a wizard is not to be made in a day.
-from the Introduction
From the basics of palming coins and pretending to shuffle cards to the sophisticated trickery of convincing ladies to float in midair and spirits to manifest themselves, this charming book, first published in 1886, is a fascinating guide to the magician's stock in trade: his secrets.
As slyly subversive in his day as today's magic tell-alls Penn and Teller, the author reveals:
. how to nail a "secretly" chosen playing card to the wall
. how to produce a shower of sweets from a borrowed handkerchief
. how to produced a dozen babies from a top hat
. how to pass an egg into a bottle
. how to change a bottle of wine into a vase of flowers
. how to "supernaturally" animate a skull
. how to read minds
. and more!
The mysterious "Henri Garenne" has disappeared into history, but his treatise remains a classic of stage magic, required reading for anyone who wishes to amaze audiences with feats of prestidigitation.
OF INTEREST TO: magic fans, amateur conjurers