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Essential Robert-Houdin by Robert-Houdin

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Essential Robert-Houdin
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin

Edited by Todd Karr
Introduction by Jim Steinmeyer

664 pages
Over 350 illustrations
All of Robert-Houdin's classic books!

"...essential reading for anyone striving in the art of magic. With the release of Essential Robert-Houdin, The Miracle Factory has performed a great service for the serious student of the magical arts. — Brad Henderson, Magic

Finally back in print! All the classic works of the great master of magic, Robert-Houdin, under one cover, lavishly illustrated with hundreds of beautiful prints, engravings, and photos.

Robert-Houdin (1805-1871) revolutionized the art of magic with his incredible stage mysteries and lifelike automata, and he thankfully left a number of books recording his philosophy and techniques. In Essential Robert-Houdin, you'll find:

The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic: Considered one of the finest magic books ever, featuring coin sleights and effects; card techniques including palming, false shuffles, cuts, and stacked-deck work, with twenty card effects; Cups and Balls methods and routines; stage effects including the the Linking Rings, and Robert-Houdin's performance theories and essays on gimmicks, stagecraft, and psychology.

Card-Sharping Exposed: Robert-Houdin's pioneering work on card handling, with dozens of card techniques and routines.

The Secrets of Stage Conjuring: A dozen great stage pieces plus the inside techniques of Robert-Houdin's theatre and optical theories.

The Memoirs of Robert-Houdin: The most complete version of Robert-Houdin's wonderful autobiography ever published, with material previously omitted from earlier editions. You can now enjoy the complete work that Robert-Houdin envisioned.

The Priory: The unbelievable secrets of Robert-Houdin's automated house, with remote-control gates and automatic timers.

Plus selections from Robert-Houdin's never-before-translated scientific writings, a complete bibliography, and full index.


Introduction   Jim Steinmeyer
Preface   Todd Karr

Introduction   Todd Karr
Pseudo-Preface   Robert-Houdin
Preface   Robert-Houdin
1. Conjuring and its Professors
2. The Art of Conjuring
3. General Principles
4. The Hand
5. Escamotage, Prestidigitation
6. Sleights with Coins
7. Changes
8. Devices
9. Gestures
10. The Eye
11. The Boniment or Patter
12. Tricks with Coins
1. The Melting Coin
2. The Flying Coins
3. The Shower of Gold
4. The Multiplication of Money
5. Magical Filtration of Five-Franc Pieces
6. The Intelligent Coin
7. The Two Hats
8. The Golden Coin in a Dinner Roll
13. Card Tricks
14. General Sleights Used in the Performance of Card Tricks
15. Special Sleights Used in the Performance of Particular Tricks with Cards
16. Ornamental Sleights
17. Clairvoyance by Touch
18. Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
19. The Cards Passing Up the Sleeve
20. The Cards Made Larger and Smaller
21. The Ladies’ Looking Glass
22. The Sympathetic Cards
23. The Electrified Cards
24. The Power of the Will
25. The Mesmerised Cards
26. The Metamorphoses
27. A Magical Transformation
28. The Card Thought Of
29. Thought Anticipated
30. The Thoughts of Two Persons Anticipated
31. The Four Aces
32. The Card in the Pocketbook
33. Now!
34. The Flying Aces and Kings
35. The Protean Pack of Cards
36. Sundry Expedients Used in Conjuring and Tricks of Various Descriptions
37. The Chinese Rings
38. The Crystal Balls and the Cannonballs
39. The Plumes and the Shower of Sweets
40. The Cups and Balls
41. The Birth of Flowers or Magical Vegetation
42. The Miraculous Fishery or The Bowls of Goldfish

Introduction   Todd Karr
Author’s Preface   Robert-Houdin
An Anecdote by Way of Introduction   Robert-Houdin
1. The Sharper of the Lower Gaming House
2. The Secret Telegraph
3. General Principles
4. To Neutralize the Cut
5. To Change a Card or Deal Second
6. Palming Cards
7. Replacing and Glancing
8. Exchanging Packs
9. False Shuffles
10. Doctored Cards
11. Cards Arranged En Chapelet
12. Devices
13. Application of the Preceding Principles
1. A Game at Piquet
2. A Second Game at Piquet
3. A Third Game at Piquet
4. A Game at Écarté
5. A Second Game at Écarté
6. Lansquenet
7. On Games with Four Players
14. Illustrative Tricks
1. Écarté
2. Continuation of the Game
3. A Game at Écarté
4. A Second Game at Écarté
5. Baccarat
6. Impériale
7. Whist
8. A Game at Whist
9. Bouillotte
10. A Game at Bouillotte
11. Bézique
12. A Coup de Piquet
13. A Clever Coup de Piquet
15. Minor Frauds Allowable by Custom
16. L’Envoi

Introduction   Todd Karr
1. A Conjurer’s Stage Arrangements
2. The Vanishing Handkerchief
3. The Light and Heavy Chest
4. The Ghost Illusion
5. The Indian Basket Trick
6. Asleep in the Air
7. Curious Experiments in Acoustics
8. The Feats of the Davenport Brothers
9. The Enchanted Portfolio
10. The Magic Drum

Introduction   Todd Karr
The Home of Robert-Houdin   Robert-Houdin

Introduction   Todd Karr
Translator’s Preface   Lascelles Wraxall
The Overture   Robert-Houdin
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23. Epilogue: A Course of Miracles
Chapter 24. Description of Effects Performed in My Shows

Appendix: Robert-Houdin’s Optical Writings


A magnificent job...the book is, like all of The Miracle Factory's volumes, a work of art.
— Matthew Field, The Magic Circular

. ..a potent single-volume gathering of the master's literary output...prestidigitators will doubtless be feasting on the legacy of Robert-Houdin for generations to come, and I cannot imagine a better gift for any conjurer — budding or veteran — than this fabulous volume.
— Jamy Ian Swiss, Genii

...essential reading for anyone striving in the art of magic. With the release of Essential Robert-Houdin, The Miracle Factory has performed a great service for the serious student of the magical arts.
— Brad Henderson, Magic