Professor Hoffmann

The subject of our portrait this month is Mr. Angelo Lewis, M.A., better known to the magical world as Prof. Hoffmann. It is curious that many of the leading wizards of the day should have owed their first lessons in the art to him, an amateur, but such is the fact. At the time when his best known work, " Modern Magic," was written, Mr. L,ewis was practising at the Bar, which, by the way, has numbered in its ranks many distinguished amateur conjurers, some having even found their way to the bench.

For many years past, however, Prof.'' Hoffmann '' has abandoned the wig and gown in favour of literary work. Conjurers are indebted to him for Modem Magic (now in its ioth edition), More Magic, Tricks with Cards, Con-jicrer Dick, The Secrets o f Conjuring & Magic, 7 he Secrets of Stage Conjuring, and Card Sharping Exposed, the three last named being translations from the French of Robert-Houdin. Drawing-room Conjuring, and Magic at Home, are likewise translations. He is also the editor of three standard works, The Book of Card & Table Games, Hoyles Games Modernized, and Every Boy's Book of Sport & Pastime, in connection with which his peculiar gift-that of lucid explanation—■ has a special value. Person professor hoffmann.

ally he cares little for any game save Chess, his latest production being a new edition of The Games of Greco, the Morphy of the seventeenth century.

In addition to his laboiirs as a writer of books, Mr. Angelo L,ewis has had experience in nearly every branch of the literary craft. He served his apprenticeship to journalism as leader-writer on a local paper, after which he was for some time on the staff of the '' Saturday Review,'' under Douglas Cook. He has contributed largely to " Chambers' Journal," the " Cornhill," "Belgravia," "London Society," and other serials. In 1885 he was the winner of the prize of ^ioo, offered by the "Youth's Companion," Boston, for the best short story for boys.

Prof. Hoffmann has en" riclied the catalogues o dealers in magical apparatus with several effective illusions, though the authorship has usually been unacknowledged. In his younger days he gave frequent performances for charitable objects, but has now for many years ceased to appear in public. His interest in Magic is however unabated, and we are glad to know that he has in hand a new and important work on the subject, a first instalment of which may be looked for some time this year.

An original Card Trick by the Professor will appear in our next issue.

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