The Illustrated History of Magic

by Milbourne and Maurine Christopher

While we're on the subject of history books, I should mention that Milbourne Christopher's magnum opus The Illustrated History of Magic has been reprinted. The reprint contains everything from the 1973 edition, plus a new chapter by Maurine Christopher which covers some of the recent stars of magic. The book is generally regarded as a fine overview of the history of magic, with an emphasis on stage magicians. The new chapter, titled "Magic Superstars Poised for the Twenty-first Century," has articles on David Copperfield, Siegried and Roy, Paul Daniels, Lance Burton, Melinda, Harry Blackstone, Jr,. Ricky Jay, Princess Tenko, Jeff McBride, and Doug Henning.

The paper used on this edition is a little on the thin side, allowing text on the backside to show through. There are some lovely color plates featuring posters of Herrmann, Kellar, Houdini, Chung Ling Soo, Thurston, Bosco, Carter, and Blackstone. I do not believe that there have been any revisions or corrections of the original 1973 text.

If you're interested in getting an overview of magic history, or you're looking for a gift for layman friend who's interested in magic, this book would be an excellent choice. You should be able to find it at most major bookstores.

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