Tribute To Victor Farelli

With the passing of Victor Farelli one realises more than ever that this decade of magicians is very different from the last. One thing that always recalls to me the magic of the older generation is the title of Conradi's book, "Exquisite Conjuring". This I think sums up the genius of this late master, and Victor Farelli still had the power to take his small bits and pieces and show you how to do an apparent miracle.

"Magic Magazine" was the last British periodical for which he wrote, and I well remember how he used to come to my office, in the midst of a busy morning, with meticulously typed and corrected manuscripts, and then everything was stopped, as he demonstrated and posed his hands, and I made pencil sketches for the magazine illu-ustrations. Never a word was allowed to be altered, and he was extremely critical, both of himself and others. The moves he gave us were often those gathered from other famous old time magicians, but although basically simple, they were each one a complete lesson in perfect routining and immaculate presentation.

Often during the War, I used to meet Farelli at a little inn close to Hampstead Heath, on a Sun day morning and there he would tell me of his Lemendous library and how he had a secretary working on it as a whole time job, cataloguing and arranging, and helping with his writings. This was the last great interest of the man who had once been a well known professional entertainer on the Continent. He lived for so many years in Belgium that he always seemed to have a foreign air, and few people realised that he was really Brtiish by birth.

The fact that he was such a proficient linguist enabled him to indulge his writing capacity in translating Continental works of magic, well known amongst which are "The Odin Rings", and "Where Houdini was Wrong" by M. Sardina.

Magic was his all absorbing life's interest and almost to the last he was always to be seen in London at any important gathering of magicians. He will certainly be missed in magical circles as will the old world charm with which he surrounded himself, and which he dispensed so freely. His name, certainly will never die.

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