ANNOUNCEMENT: H. DEAN’S HOCUS POCUS REPRINT; RESEARCH HELP NEEDED

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Postby magicam » 06/21/11 03:59 AM

To Fellow Magic Collectors, Historians and Bibliophiles:

My friend Burt Sperber plans to publish a facsimile of the rare first edition of Henry Dean's The Whole Art of Legerdemain, or Hocus Pocus in Perfection, published in London in 1722. The reprint will be supplemented with an historical essay on Dean's book, and an updated bibliographical checklist of all known editions of his work, which will include photographs of the title pages and frontispieces of all entries. Another good friend, the esteemed Dr. Edwin A. Dawes, has kindly agreed to prepare the historical commentary. I will do the bibliographical work, and Byron Walker has generously offered access to his incredible collection of Deans, which is almost certainly the largest in public or private hands (over 30 variants).

Nearly all research projects of this kind benefit greatly from the assistance of fellow collectors and bibliophiles, and this project is certainly no exception. So I would appreciate hearing from any of you who own any editions of Deans book, using the entry numbers from Toole Stott's conjuring bibliography if possible; and of course, if any of your copies vary from those listed by Toole Stott, please let me know how they differ. For each entry in the updated checklist, we will note the owners (unless youd prefer to remain anonymous). There is no need to contact me if you own the 1983 Walter Graham reprint of the 1763 edition, or the 1886 Robertson reprint of the 1797 edition. Also, please note that the scope of the work relates only to editions which expressly attribute Henry Dean as the author. There were many conjuring chapbooks published with Hocus Pocus or The Whole Art of Legerdemain in their titles (especially in the early 19th century), and in fact many of these books plagiarized from Dean (who in turn had plagiarized the text of earlier conjuring books!), but at this time we are only interested in publications which expressly named Dean as the author.

Your assistance and input will surely help to improve the Dean checklist by making it more complete. You can contact me here or by PM (please provide your e-mail address in the PM).

With many thanks in advance from me and Burt for your assistance,

Clay Shevlin
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 06/21/11 07:57 AM

You probably know about this (and in any case it sounds as if Byron Walker must have just about all the possible editions) but here's a list of Deans and other items in the Harry Price collection in Senate House Library, London:

Harry Price Collection - Early Works to 1800

While we're at it, here's the full list of categories:

Harry Price Collection - Categories
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Postby magicam » 06/21/11 02:11 PM

Just to whet the appetite, here's a pic of the frontis and title page from Burt's copy of the first edition of Dean.

Image
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Postby magicam » 07/12/11 05:54 AM

Bump.

Only one helpful soul has responded with information about the Deans in his collection. Cmon ladies and gents, editions of this book arent that rare! And even if youre sure that one of the bigs like Byron Walker has the same edition as you do, it would be very helpful to know what you have. With the owners permission, we intend to list the individual holding of each Dean edition/variant.

Ill expand the query by asking this question: for those of you who own the 1886 Glasgow reprint of Deans work, is your copy a four shillings and six pence copy or a six shilling copy? Youll find the answer near the end of the publishers preface which begins the book!

P.S. Edwin, thanks for the input. The HPL holdings are certainly on our radar.
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