Some Book Trivia

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby magicam » 07/14/04 06:37 PM

Well I loved Jon R's trivia post on Charlie Miller, although the vast majority of questions I couldn't answer.

In the hopes that some more trivia may be welcome, here are some questions to test your IQ as a magic history bibliophile. The answers to at least 8 of these questions can be found in print, online, or in the books themselves. I'll post the answers in a couple of days.

1. What is the earliest English-language bibliography published which is devoted to conjuring books? Who compiled it and when was it published?

2. How many printings of Jasper Maskelyne's Magic - Top Secret were done?

3. What is the earliest English-language history published which is devoted to legerdemain? Who wrote it and when was it published?

4. Name the earliest English-language (auto)biography where deluxe, trade and paperback editions were issued in the same year.

5. What's the title of the earliest English-language magic book known to describe pulling a rabbit out of a hat and what year was it published?

6. What year was C. Lang Neil's The Modern Conjurer first published?

7. True or false: there's a bibliography of card tricks in Maskelyne & Devant's Our Magic.

8. Fill in the blank: there were at least __ printings of Milbourne Christopher's The Illustrated History of Magic.

9. Name the magic history title published by John Mulholland in 1945 (not a magazine article but a separate book).

10. True or false: Tom Sawyer is the author of books on magic history.

Some of the questions are easy, some less so, and some are really difficult (in my opinion).

Have fun!
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 07/14/04 06:59 PM

5- A Humorous Magician Unmasked - Engstrom 1836

Picked it up one day for $40.00. That was a good day. :D
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Postby magicam » 07/14/04 07:17 PM

Kev: Where do you do your book shopping? C.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 07/14/04 07:42 PM

Be happy I'm not collecting the antiquarian anymore. The guy actually threw the book in, because I bought other 1800's magic books that day.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 07/14/04 07:50 PM

That Mulholland book, was it Quicker Than The Eye? I had some of the apparatus and art work from that too. And to think, I don't even like apparatus. :o

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Postby magicam » 07/14/04 10:27 PM

Wasn't Quicker. Quicker was published in 1932. And so far as I know, your answer to #5 is correct.

Hey, you should start a thread: "What's the best deal on a rare book you've ever gotten?" If you don't, I might! Betcha there'd be some interesting tales

Clay Shevlin
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 07/14/04 10:56 PM

No. No. No. That's why I dumped it at Swann's in 1998. I have to try focus on one thing. I chose Houdini. Guess what? I six years I'm still trying to get it in order. :o

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Postby Marco Pusterla » 07/15/04 05:34 AM

6 - 1903

7 - true, off the top of my head

8 - 6... at least, the modern edition is the 6th...

9 - The Early Magic Shows

10 - True. And publisher of the "Aphelion" magazine
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Postby magicam » 07/18/04 01:07 PM

Here are the answers based on what I know to date. Needless to say, if any of you feel these answers are incorrect, please let us know.

1. Henry Ridgely Evans, 1897, as an appendix to Hopkins' Stage Magic. Ellis Stanyon's bibliography (1899) was the first bibliography to be published as a stand-alone publication.

2. Two printings were done, which is a bit surprising considering how scarce in commerce this title is.

3. Thomas Frost, The Lives of the Conjurors (London, 1876).

4. Kellar's A Magician's Tour (1886). The deluxe edition had bevelled edges on the cloth biniding and all page edges were gilt.

5. I believe Kevin is correct. It was A.B. Engstrom's The Humorous Magician Unmasked (1836).

6. 1902 (sorry, Marco! :) ).

7. True, as Marco wrote.

8. I am aware of at least three printings of the first edition of this book. Marco, your answer may have been based on what you found in the second edition co-authored by Maurine Christopher (published in 1996). The way to read those series of numbers at the bottom of the verso of the title page is to take the lowest number showing and the earliest date given - that gives the date and printing number of the book. As subsequent printings are done, the publisher removes the next earliest number and the oldest date. Based on the copy I have, there is still the number 1 in the series 1-6, and the same way of reading the date applies.

9. Marcos answer is correct. This monograph was actually an excerpt from Mulhollands earlier The Story of Magic (published in 1935).

10. True, as Marco wrote.
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Postby Marco Pusterla » 07/19/04 05:30 AM

8. I am aware of at least three printings of the first edition of this book. Marco, your answer may have been based on what you found in the second edition co-authored by Maurine Christopher (published in 1996).
Correct, I'm referring to the second edition, but your question did not mention the first edition... it reads:

8. Fill in the blank: there were at least __ printings of Milbourne Christopher's The Illustrated History of Magic.
The "modern" (currently available on Amazon) says 6th Edition and mine is a 1st printing (with foreword of David Copperfield). I acquired in 2002, but this is irrelevant :p

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