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Edouard-Joseph Raynaly

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Edouard-Joseph Raynaly
BornAugust 7, 1842
Paris, France
DiedDecember 19, 1918 (age 76)

Edouard-Joseph Raynaly (1842-1918), born in Paris, France was a performer and contributor to the French magic magazine L'Illusionniste.


In the 1870s, he performed hypnotic stunts touring as part of the Bonheur Brothers. Later he was featured at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin under the management of Georges Méliès.

He wrote an autobiography called Les Propos d'un Escamoteur about his professional magic career including his encounters with Herrmann, De Kolta, celebrities, European and Indian street performers. In the 1940s, Jean Hugard translated the autobiography from French to English The Discourses of a Conjurer. Hugard's manuscript has remained stashed in files for decades and not published until 2008. Raynaly's works include writings on card effects, hypnotism, and mnemonics.

In 1893, the French scientist Alfred Binet conducted in collaboration with the photographer Georges Demeny experiments with taking several still photographs in rapid succession of Raynaly to performing various tricks in order to analyze them. The were brought to digital life in 2006 by Richard Wiseman.


  • Les Propos d'un Escamoteur (1894)
  • Hugard's Secret Manuscript (2008) (English translation)