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Maskelyne's Book of Magic

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Maskelyne's Book of Magic
AuthorJasper Maskelyne
PublisherGeorge C. Harrap
Publication Date1936


Dover did a reprint in 2009 with a new introduction by Edwin A. Dawes. Dover, however, revised certain portions. Below is the text of Eddie's notes:

Maskelyne’s Book of Magic: A Note
In August 2009, Dover Books published a reprint of Maskelyne’s Book of Magic (1936) for which I was commissioned to provide an Introduction. This I did, but on publication discovered that four points important to magic historians had been edited out, and a final paragraph had been added, all without my knowledge. For the record, they are as follows:
  • p.xi. After mention of White Magic, the following sentence was deleted: “In the same year Maskelyne’s Book of Magic also appeared in bookshops. Edited (and presumably principally ghost-written) by Arthur Groom, who was not punctilious in acknowledging his sources, it provided a fairly comprehensive coverage”.
  • p. xii. David Fisher’s book The War Magician. The original text read “very readable but unreliable as an accurate record.” The last six words were deleted.
  • p. xix. The reasons for the ruinous failure of his marriage were deleted, namely “both his wife and her mother, who lived with them, being alcoholics, yet ultimately his wife outlived him by some fifteen years, still living in Africa. While Jasper also liked his liquor, neighbours and friends attest to the fact they had never seen him drunk.”
  • p. xix-xx. The final paragraph of the Introduction, starting with “The Dover reprint of…” is not of my authorship.
  • p. xx. Under Further Reading, reference to Richard Stokes’ web site, at present the only widely accessible source to his very important researches, has been deleted.
While I can appreciate that commercial interests do not always coincide with historical accuracy, I should not like my magical colleagues to think I had been less than objective in the Introduction I submitted for publication.
Edwin A. Dawes[1]


  1. Important Note re: new Dover edition of Maskelyne's Book of Magic
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