Who better than the man who amassed one of the greatest magic libraries of the twentieth century to serve as your tour guide through hundreds of years of magic history? John Mulholland writes engagingly and entertainingly about the great magicians of years gone by — the first chapter of Quicker Than the Eye alone will be enough to fascinate history buffs, as Mulholland regales the reader with an account of a lavish dinner hosted by Howard Thurston and attended by Adelaide Herrmann, Charles Carter, Max Malini and the Houdinis.
Subsequent chapters see Mulholland draw on many unique pieces from his vast magic collection to create vivid pictures of performances in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While this isn’t primarily a book of methods, the effects that Mulholland describes, and the stories he tells of the people who devoted their lives to presenting them, will undoubtedly prove inspiring to anyone seeking to follow in their footsteps and amaze modern audiences with the same principles that have baffled spectators for millennia. From a rare newspaper advertisement by Katterfelto to an informed look at how modern performers construct their shows via a thorough debunking of fortune-telling and an enlightening look at the magic of Native Americans, this engrossing two-hundred-and-fifty-page overview of conjuring history brings together a wealth of detail, making it a valuable addition to any electronic library.