Cover image for The illustrated history of magic.
The illustrated history of magic.
Christopher, Milbourne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Crowell [1973]
Physical Description:
452 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1543 .C52 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
786.8 C466I Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV1543 .C52 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Follow the fascinating stories of the world's greatest necromancers, from sorcerer-priests in ancient Egypt to such modern miracle workers as Houdini and David Copperfield!

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Feared as the devil's handiwork in medieval Europe, officially outlawed in the British colonies of North America, magic performances nevertheless attracted steadily widening audiences who marveled at the sleight of hand or sought proof of the existence of supernatural forces. First published in 1973 and long out of print, this mesmerizing, intelligent history sweeps from the earliest known image of a conjuring feat‘an Egyptian wall painting made around 2500 B.C.‘to the feats of that renowned escapologist Harry Houdini. In between, the authors introduce us to Muslim traveler Ibn Batuta's 1355 eyewitness account of an Indian rope trick in a Chinese royal court and to the exploits of trailblazers like French virtuoso Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, British showman Signor Antonio Blitz and Victorian entertainment producer John Nevil Maskelyne. This updated edition also covers contemporaries such as Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy, David Copperfield and Las Vegas star Melinda Saxe. Among the 300 illustrations (plus eight pages in color) are posters, ads, photos, engravings, cartoons and playbills. Milbourne Christopher, who died in 1984, was a professional magician, lecturer and historian. Maurine Christopher is his widow. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Presenting prodigious feats of prestidigitation and their practitioners, this book, first published in 1973, recounts the stories of notable necromancers from Professor Pinetti and Signor Blitz to Houdini and Blackstone. Period posters and publicity photos punctuate the narrative. Milbourne Christopher, according to David Copperfield's introduction, was a major influence in bringing magic to prime time network television. He died in 1984, and his widow Maurine Christopher has updated his work, adding sections on contemporary leaders of legerdemain, including Copperfield, Ricky Jay, Melinda, and Siegfried and Roy. A bibliography rich in primary sources enhances the production and enables it to live up to Copperfield's recommendation as "the best source on the topic." Suitable for general as well as performing arts collections.‘Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.