"Memoirs of Robert-Houdin, ambassador, author and conjurer" by Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin

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ChuckSTL
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Post by ChuckSTL »

As far as I can tell, this has not been recorded in its entirely. It's the autobiography (some of which may be apocryphal) by the French conjurer Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin (7 December 1805 – 13 June 1871). His was a celebrated and adventurous life.

He was the first magician to turn conjuring into a performing art to be presented in theatres rather than an entertainment for the masses at circuses and county fairs. The image of a magician on stage in evening dress presenting a program of elaborate illusions is essentially the image of Robert-Houdin. He invented a large number of ingenious mechanical devices for his illusions and equipped his home in Saint-Gervais near Blois, France (now a museum) with many of them. As a former magician myself, I made a pilgrimage there in the fall of 2019.

Harry Houdini (neé Erich Weiss) named himself after Robert-Houdin. But because Robert-Houdin's widow would not meet with him, Houdini later attempted to discredit the late magician in a poorly researched (and often fabricated) polemic titled "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin," but that's another story.

Link to the book on Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42916
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Chuck Lavazzi
Senior Performing Arts Critic, 88.1 KDHX
Member, Music Critics Association of North America and St. Louis Theater Circle
https://kdhx.org/component/tags/tag/chuck-lavazzi
DrSpoke
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Joined: January 12th, 2022, 9:56 am

Post by DrSpoke »

Fascinating.
It would be great to have two projects running: Houdin's Houdin story and Weiss-Houdini's Houdin one.
annise
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Post by annise »

bit late to run them together - https://librivox.org/the-unmasking-of-robert-houdin-by-harry-houdini/ is now in the catalogue :D
But it would be interesting to have both in the catalogue

Anne
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