Need some help. A talk about Magic and magic history.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wallmott, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Hello!

    I need some help.

    Im working on a school project for my history class. We are going to make a short talk about the history of art like music, theatre, painting etc. I would like to talk about the history of magic. But i dont know where to start.

    Could someone give me some advice? What would you talk about? And does anyone know where i can read about magic history?
  2. Well you start from the beginning, literally. Google search the beginnings of magic and I am sure you will get numerous hits of articles, publications, etc. that could be used as sources for your paper. I'd strongly suggest if you have time to go to a bookstore and look up Jim Steinmeyer's Hiding the Elephant. It goes over everything from Robert Houdin era and beyond. Anything Steinmeyer related that you can find in a bookstore/library is worth a read, he is a wealth of magical history knowledge. Heck, you may actually be able to email him directly from his website.
  3. There is BBC's series called History of Magic, and you can find it on youtube.
  4. It all started with this guy called Criss Angel...
  5. get a book called Hiding the Elephant. Read it. You'll get a good start there
  6. David Blaine's book has a little bit of magic history as well
  7. There are so many places that you could begin with a topic like that. Magic is truly on of the oldest art forms and has a rich and varied history. Its connected to religion. Its connected to entertainment. Its connected to the idea of creating wonder. Where would you like to begin.

    Hiding the elephant is indeed a good starting point, but it can also be a much deeper story than that.

    I am sure that we would all be happy to contribute once we know where you would like to begin.

    Best of luck!
  8. I am totally open to help you out as much as I can! Just write what you'd like to know.

    Nexus aka Silver aka whatever

    Also Dodd, Really really enjoyed the interview with Todd, Teller and Tomsoni! It was a real treat and a little pleasant surprise!
  9. You could talk about one of the first recorded books about magic, The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scott in the 1500s. Find some pictures of it and show your class. Really interesting stuff.
  10. Or buy it now from an eBay seller for almost 8 grand, signed.

    LOL. Nah, I remember one of the members here, mehar... He has this HUGE book. Magic 1400s-1950s I believe it's called.
  11. i've seen the book your talking about in a bookstore, it's the largest book i've ever seen. it's at least 2 feet tall and 1,000 pages and it costs like $100. i wanted it so bad
  12. Ricky Jay has authored and co-authored several books on the history of magic.
  13. If you are looking for the beginnings of modern magic, do a Google search for Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. That is the link between the Discoverie of Witchcraft is the real beginnings of magic and Hiding the Elephant is the "Golden Age." The BBC series on the History of Magic is also very good.
  14. Thanks sabor, me and the other members weren't sure what I said.
  15. Thank you guys.

    Do you think talking about The Discovery of Witchcraft and that era as someone suggested would be interesting?
  16. The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scott is defintely an interesting book to discuss. Because it is one of the first recorded books on magic, it will definitely get people's attention.
  17. I second Casey : you have tons of things to say about The Discovery of Witchcraft ! :)

    Just a few glimpse that I just found on

    The Discoverie of Witchcraft was a book written by Reginald Scot, a justice of the peace in Kent, England, first published in London, during 1584. Subtitled: Proving that the compacts and contracts of witches with devils and all infernal spirits or familiars, are but erroneous novelties and imaginary conceptions.

    The book was an exposé of medieval witchcraft, which at the time was sweeping continental Europe and Scotland, making its way to England.

    A small portion was devoted to the performance magic and was plagiarized heavily. It constituted a substantial portion (in some cases, nearly all) of the text in English-language magic books of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    The Discoverie of Witchcraft was written in 16th century Elizabethan english, and is filled with archaic spelling and expressions.

    Along with a well researched study on the practice of witchcraft, it also touched on astrology, alchemy, and divination. It presented logical evidences against the existence of witches.

    The sections on magic follows several chapters discussing the similarities between the claims of Pharaoh's magicians, false prophets, and "our witches", and how they all use "juggling knacks" to convince others of their powers.

    Scot was helped with sections dealing with magic by John Cautares, a 16th century French magician. The sections devoted to magic tricks contain many effects still seen today, but include very little actual methods. Scot emphasizes that he considered magic to be to the betterment of society and not the work of the devil.

    The first edition is very rare and is perhaps the most prized of antiquarian conjuring books.

Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results