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Our Magic

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Our Magic
AuthorNevil Maskelyne
PublisherDutton & Co.
Publication Date1911
Our Magic was a book written by Nevil Maskelyne and David Devant with the intent to change the perception of art of magic.

From the Preface:

One notable feature of this work, which should, we believe, serve to prove the faith that is in us, consists in our unhesitating disclosure of original devices, and the modus opuandi of original experiments in magic. So far from feeling any reluctance towards letting the general public into the secrets of our procedure, we are most anxious to educate the public in such matters, in order that a proper understanding of our art may be disseminated among its votaries and patrons. The point is this. Tricks and dodges are of comparatively small importance in the art of magic. At the utmost, they display inventive ability, but nothing more. The effect-and the effect alone-produced by the use of such inventions, is the consideration of real importance.

The book was not particularly successful with the general public, but did go on to become a revered textbook by many magicians. It was rated one of the "Ten basic books for a working library of conjuring" by H. Adrian Smith.


  • PART I: THE ART IN MAGIC by Nevil Maskelyne

Chapter I: The Real Secrets of Magic

Chapter II: The Three Degrees in Art

Chapter III: Unity

Chapter IV: Consistency

Chapter V: Justification

Chapter VI: Surprise and Repetition

Chapter VII: Effects of Transition

Chapter VIII: Climax

Chapter IX: Presentation

Chapter X: Rehearsal

Chapter XI: Speed In Presentation

Chapter XII: Patter

Chapter XIII: Stage Manner and Personality

Chapter XIV: Mental Attitude

Chapter XV: The Importance of Artistic Principles

  • PART II: THE THEORY OF MAGIC by Nevil Maskelyne

Chapter I: Terminology

Chapter II: General Analysis

Chapter III: Misdirection

Chapter IV: Styles of Magic

Chapter V: Manipulative Principles

Chapter VI: Principles of Mental Magic

Chapter VII: Mechanical Principles

Chapter VIII: Optical Principles

Chapter IX: Acoustic Principles

Chapter X: Electrical Principles

Chapter XI: Chemical and Molecular Principles

Chapter XII: Magical Inventions


Chapter I: With Playing Cards. The Triangle.

Bibliographic Index of Card Tricks (pp. 289 & ff.)

Chapter II: With Billiard Balls. Multiplication

Chapter III: With Figures. Simple Addition

Chapter IV: With A Borrowed Watch. The Forgotten Guest

Chapter V: With A Borrowed Handkerchief. A Lesson in Magic

Chapter VI: With Bells. Homing Bells

Chapter VII: With Flags. The National Colours

Chapter VIII: With Liquids. The Three Vases

Chapter IX: With a Rabbit, a Ball and Two Hats. The Silver Ball

Chapter X: With Fish and Letters. The Educated Fish

Chapter XI: With Doves and Rats. The Point of View

Chapter XII: With a Canary and a Target. "The Phoenix"


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