King of Conjurers Memoirs of Robert-Houdin - Book
Memoirs of Robert Houdin King of Conjurers with new introduction and notes by Milbourne Christopher.
The life and times of an expert clockwork automata maker, amateur electrical engineer, and world-travelling pioneer of stage magic turn out to be an entertaining adventure. Who could have guessed? Eugène Robert-Houdin was a wonderful storyteller, and gives a marvelous account of his life. He invented the greatest automata that were ever built. As he writes, "It is certainly a singular occupation for a man to whom frankness is natural, to be continually engaged in concealing his thoughts, and seeking the best way of making dupes. But may it not also be urged that dissimulation and falsehood become qualities or defects according to the purpose they are employed for? Does not the merchant, for instance, regard them as precious qualities to heighten the value of his wares? Does the science of diplomacy consist in stating everything with frankness and simplicity? Lastly, is not fashion or the usages of decent society, an admirable mixture of dissimulation and deceptions?"
Newly illustrated with 51 rare prints, playbills and documents from the Christopher Collection.
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