top of page

The Old and The New Magic is a remarkable conjuring text. Written by the magic historian Henry Ridgely Evans at the height of magic’s golden age, it was one of the most ambitious books of the time published on the history of magic. It provides an amazing insight into how magicians and magic history were viewed in the first decade of the twentieth century.


In addition to chapters on subjects deemed historical in 1906 - 1909, there are also sections on many of the leading performing magicians of the period, which are now themselves of great historical interest. These conjurers include Harry Houdini, Chung Ling Soo, John Nevil Maskelyne, Howard Thurston, Buatier de Kolta and the Herrmann dynasty, among many others.


Beyond these stage magicians, the book also contains a great deal of information on subjects that merged and conflicted with performance magic. These include sections on Automata, Second Sight, The Davenport Brothers, Natural Magic, Theosophy, Indian Fakirs and the life of Félicien Trewey. It includes further detailed explanatory sections on optical effects and illusions of producing ghosts on stage.


The book was ground-breaking and became an instant classic. Its reputation was such that it earned a place on Dr. A. M. Wilson’s famous list of the “Ten Best Magic Books”.


This is a facsimile reprint of the greatly-expanded second edition, first printed in 1909. The entire book is profusely illustrated with explanatory illustrations, reproductions of programmes and portraits of magicians. Including the detailed introduction by Paul Carus and the extensive appendix and index.


This large hardback book runs to 550 pages, reproduced at the exact printed-page scale of the original version. For a closer look at this book, there's a video on our Youtube channel via this link.


Condition: New.


Binding: Hardback

Year: 2021


Pages: 550

Dimensions (to nearest cm): 23 X 16cm

The Old and The New Magic - Henry Ridgely Evans

    bottom of page