About The Golden Age of Magic

The Golden Age of Magic refers to the period between the mid 1800s and the early to mid 1900s. Certainly there were magicians before this time but in 1840 John Henry Anderson, performing as The Great Wizard of the North, opened the New Strand Theatre in London. In 1845 he opened a second theatre in Glasgow and, in the same year, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin opened a magic theatre in Paris. These theatres started a trend and it was not long before large, permanent magic shows became the norm. In 1873 the duo Maskelyne and Cooke took over the Egyptian Hall, in London's Piccadilly, and it became known as England's Home of Mystery The fame of this duo was such that the second sentence of the famous children's book, The Railway Children, says "I don't suppose they had ever thought about railways except as a means of getting to Maskelyne and Cook's (sic), the Pantomime, Zoological Gardens, and Madame Tussaud's". No explanation was needed as to who they were.

There were many other such magicians of equal or greater fame. The list includes many names no longer familiar today: Alexander Herrmann (Herrmann the Great), 'Black Herman', Buatier de Kolta, Charles Joseph Carter (Carter the Great), David Devant, Erik Jan Hanussen, Harry Blackstone Sr., Harry Kellar, Herbert de Caston, Howard Thurston, Julius and Agnes Zancig, Max Malini, Okito, Ted Anneman and Will Goldston are amongst them. Perhaps the most famous of all was Harry Houdini and we include his own book on Robert-Houdin as one of our first publications.

Many of these magicians wrote their own books but there were also many works by people who weren't themselves performers of the magic arts but students and chroniclers. It is our aim to search out works from this period, which can be looked upon as the time when most 'modern' magic was invented, and re-publish them for a new audience. We are aware that, in some cases, facsimile copies are sometimes available but we believe that these works deserve more than second-rate reproduction, especially as many such copies are of poor quality despite commanding high prices. Therefore, we re-typeset the text of the books to make reading them a pleasure rather than a chore and they are passed through an exhaustive editing process, as many were poorly edited in the original, to the extent that sometimes the meanings are completely reversed. We use the original illustrations but endeavor to enhance them for clarity where possible (although sometimes the originals are themselves almost illegible). Finally, we publish them in a uniform format, at an accessible price so that a collector may build an inexpensive, uniform library of some of the greatest books on magic ever written.

In order to reach the widest audience we make the books available via bookshops, magic shops and Amazon. We are always open to suggestions as to possible future titles and also look to publish books about this period written by magic historians. If you wish to contact us please use the form on our contact page.