Posts Tagged ‘Will Goldston’

houdini_post0002The title of this blog is The Ephemeral Collector, and in my “About” page I set out that I collect ephemeral material related to the art of magic. If you have been following this blog, you may have noticed that my recent posts were on apparatus, on posters and on more substantial items – not really on “ephemeral” objects. Sometimes, to really appreciate a small piece of paper, what I consider an “ephemeral magic object,” one has to study and investigate its story: sometimes, the discoveries will bring amazement and the ephemeral object will be seen in a different light, a small part of a larger puzzle.

Sit comfortable, dear reader, and let me tell you the story of an unused invitation to meet the master of the masters in his prime, the one and only Harry Houdini.

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The Locked Books of Secrets

Magic books with so many secrets that have to be kept locked

When author J. K. Rowling described, in the third volume of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a most vicious and magical book, the Monster Book of Monsters, she was maybe thinking about magical books that, in years gone by, were deemed to contain such secrets that needed to be kept away from privy eyes, books for which methods were devised to keep them closed, locked away to the non-initiated.

While the idea of a “locked book” of secrets may seem something from a fairy tale, in the history of conjuring we have some books that have actually been published with a padlock and a key to keep them closed, in order that the casual observer could not learn the mystical secrets in the volume. These books were produced in the country of Harry Potter: England.

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