Unmasking Robert-Houdin

Cover of the book

The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, Harry Houdini, (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1909)

Library Call Number: GV1545.R7 H68 1909

Though Houdini had originally fashioned his stage name as an homage to French magician Robert-Houdin, he later argued that many tricks Robert-Houdin claimed were his invention were in fact adapted from his predecessors.

Unlike Houdini’s other exposés, this book both offers an explanation of how the tricks are performed and traces their origins and attributes them to their innovators as he deems correct. The result is a genealogy of the art of stage magic. While conducting research for the book, Houdini collected pictorial content from woodcuts, programmes, lithographs, and posters which are reproduced throughout the text.

This book was acquired by ARC as part of the Art Latcham Magic Collection to support research in Psychology, History, English, and Industrial Design.

Cover and art from The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin by Harry Houdini