Marvelous magicians / Lydia Corry.

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  • Author(s): Corry, Lydia, author illustrator
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  • Publication Information:
    London : Thames & Hudson, 2020.
  • Publication Date:
  • Physical Description:
    43 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
  • Publication Type:
  • Document Type:
    Non-fiction; Collective biography
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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: A great magician never reveals their secrets, but Marvelous Magicians reveals the names of eight groundbreaking illusionists, both famous and lesser-known, who shaped modern magic. Through a magical blend of biography, history, and illustration, this book spotlights an array of magicians, including one of the first female magicians, Adelaide Herrmann; African American illusionist Richard Potter, "The Handcuff King" Harry Houdini, and Houdin, Houdini's namesake and inspiration. With two spectacular fold-out pages revealing the secret workings of the Automaton Chess Player and Howard Thurston's dramatic transformation of an empty box into a world of wonders, this book examines the early history of magic, the eight magic effects on which all tricks are based, the necessary components of a magician's toolbox, and the underrated role of the magician's assistant. The book's grand finale features advice on becoming a magician, an introduction to contemporary magicians from around the world, and an exploration of the hidden societies who have kept the secrets of illusions closely guarded for decades.
    • Content Notes:
      The art of illusion -- It's show time! -- Automatons -- The chess player -- Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin -- Richard Potter -- Harry Kellar -- A magician's toolbox -- Adelaide Herrmann -- Harry Houdini -- Howard Thurston -- More marvellous magicians -- Dante -- The art of the magician's assistant -- Guarding magical secrets -- Magic today -- Becoming a magician -- The eight effects of magic.
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Booklist Reviews 2020 September #1

With theatrical illustrations featuring the occasional gatefold and frequent switches in orientation from vertical to horizontal, Corry retraces the long history of stage magic (including "escapology") from ancient Egypt to the late twentieth century. In addition to describing the main types of tricks and the best ways to learn and perform them, essential props, and the important role of the magician's assistant, she highlights a select but notably diverse gallery of significant innovators, including Jean Eugéne Robert-Houdin and his namesake Houdini, early nineteenth-century African American Richard Potter, Lung Te Shan (stage name "Long Tack Sam") from China, and Adelaide Hermann, renowned for her multiple bullet catch. The narrative, which is scattered in digestible bursts throughout, is punctuated with anecdotal tributes to other magicians, some of whom are still active. Aspiring prestidigitators may be disappointed to discover that many of her "Insider Secret" explanations of famous feats are too vague to be helpful (though, as she acknowledges, many are fantastically dangerous), but will come away freshly inspired to develop tricks and acts of their own. Grades 4-6. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.