Erdnase and Robert-Houdin

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

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 01:52 AM

I am so apologize, but my questions still about one subject.

If we can suppose that Erdnase use work of Robert-Houdin, we should ask - which translation? To answer can help one of ruses what Robert-Houdin call Enjambage but Erdnase Replacing the Cut as Before. On Hilliar translating it calls The Jump. On another translation THE ENJAMBAGE, OR CUT ABOVE. (BTW. If somebody believe Hilliar help Erdnase, why he not use same name for sleight?)

I have not all translations like Smithson or Lascelles Wraxall. Can somebody help? May be we can find translation with same name like use Erdnase? Is there are peoples what collect translations of Robert-Houdin like somebody collect different editions of Erdnase?

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:08 AM

Hilliar did not translate Robert-Houdin, he just put his name as translator/editor on the work of another in the Drake edition of Card Sharpers Exposed. Although Hilliar was working in Chicago at the time Erdnase was first published there, it is extremely unlikely that he had anything to do with Erdnase, despite the claims in Whaley's MAN WHO WAS ERDNASE that he "edited" Erdnase.

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 12:39 PM

Thanks, mr. Richard Hatch.

I suppose you are correct. But do you have prove of this supposition? You should understand me. I am Russian and if I say "Great American writer was not gentleman" it will be not same if you say it. So I should be sure. Just now I write Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie was not translator of Memoirs and this is enough for me. :-))
It can be Frederick Charles Lascelles Wraxall who translate first book of Robert-Houdin and during writing of Les Tricheries des Grecs Devoilees wait when Robert-Houdin wrote next book. I am sure that book of 1882 what knowh like Hoffmann translations really was Lascelles Wraxall with comments of Hoffmann. But Hilliar...

Will be nice if somebody who have first British translation compare two books.

Just now I have two versions -
1. XII chapters (first part) and XIV chapters (second part)
2. XII chapters (first part) and XXXVIII chapters (second part)

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:48 PM

Stephen Forrester's 1993 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MAGIC CLASSICS lists the following pre-Drake English Language editions of Robert-Houdin's work on card-sharping:
THE SHARPER DETECTED AND EXPOSED (Chapman and Hall, London, 1863), translator unknown.
CARD SHARPING EXPOSED (Routledge, London and New York, 1882), translated by Professor Hoffman (Angelo Lewis)
CARD SHARPING EXPOSED (John W. Lovell Co., New York, 1882), translated by M.[ary] I.[sabel] Smithson
CARD SHARPERS, THEIR TRICKS EXPOSED (Spencer Blackett, London, 1891), translated by Joseph N. Forster

Although the Drake edition says on the title page "translated from the French by William J. Hilliar," it is apparently a verbatim reprint of the 1891 Forster translation (I have not compared the two, but trust the statements of those who have, Forrester among them. The pagination is different, so Drake presumably retypeset the work).

When Hilliar years later (circa 1920) wrote in the BILLBOARD magazine that he had seen a copy in a Chicago magic shop and had not recalled that he had translated it, Houdini wrote a letter to the editor pointing out that he had, in fact, not translated it. Hilliar wrote a letter back to Houdini (now in the Harry Ransom Library in Austin, Texas), agreeing with Houdini, and only claiming (despite the titlepage claim) to have "edited" the work. Hilliar was working for Drake in Chicago in early 1902 and editing THE SPHINX (which started in March 1902).

Postby Guest » 11/21/06 01:31 AM

Dear Mr. Richard Hatch.

I am impressed by your answer. You are so much informed. I even did not know Smitson was lady... On Internet possible find 9 Mb pdf version of Bibliographies of Works on Playing Cards and Gaming, 1972, where possible get all 4 books, but your information more complete.

I hear about Card-Sharping Exposed, 20 April 1861. Translated by Frederick Charles Lascelles Wraxall.
Also I know Robert-Houdin has contact with Chapman & Hall and translator was Lascelles Wraxall. He was translator of first book and wait next. So 1863 should be translated by same man.
Will be strange if Hoffmann translate, but not only edited book on 1882.

Thanks for information about mr. Hilliar. I will use it.

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