The Unmasking Of Robert-Houdin. Inscribed by the Author (1908)

Author: Harry Houdini

Book ID: 68241

Price: 5,500.00

The Unmasking Of Robert-Houdin. New York: Publishers Printing Co., 1908. First Edition. Pp 319. Publisher’s brown cloth pictorial boards, lettered in white. Cloth scuffed & lightly worn, closed tear to frontispiece portrait, otherwise contents pages in good condition.

Presentation copy, Inscribed by Houdini of the front free endpaper: “To Earnest E. Noakes, with Compliments of the author. Harry Houdini, Feb 33/1908.” With Noakes bookplate to front pastedown.

Ernest E. Noakes (1873-1956), was a London society magician and prominent member of The Magic Circle. He held the position of the second President of the Magic Circle and later served as Honorary Vice President.

Houdini (the stage name of Erik Weisz) adopted the surname of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin (adding an ‘I’ at the end), a remarkable French magician and illusionist, often regarded as the father of modern conjuring. Jean-Eugène was the first magician to incorporate electricity into his performances, and debunked supernatural explanations used by other magicians, emphasizing skill and technique over mysticism.

In this book Houdini attacked his former idol as a liar and a fraud for having claimed the invention of automata and effects such as aerial suspension. Many of the allegations in the book were later dismissed by magicians and researchers who defended Robert-Houdin claims.

In stock