Charles Dickens, Magician (Signed copy)
Conjuring in Life, Letters and Literature (Signed by Ian Keable)
First edition. Paperback. 19.5 × 13cm, 268pp.
Signed to the title page by Ian Keable.
Charles Dickens was an unsurpassed writer; and a superb public reader of his own works; he was also a talented actor; but very few know that he was also a conjurer. Up to now this knowledge has been rather hidden away in biographies, with academics considering it of little significance. For the first time Dickens's journey to becoming a conjurer has been researched and narrated: using his own letters and other contemporary reports, the evolution of the novelist to enthusiastic performer is charted. What is particularly unique about this book is that Ian Keable brings his own experiences as a magic historian and professional magician to branch out into related subjects. Who were the conjurers that inspired Dickens? Which tricks did he do? Where did he get them from? What were his strengths and weaknesses as a conjurer? Why did he stop? Which of his contemporaries did he rate the best? Did his interest in conjuring impact upon his writing? In answering these questions, much is revealed about the world of Victorian conjuring and indeed magic generally. It is unfortunate that many claims in the past have been made about Dickens relating to conjuring which have proved questionable: readers might be surprised by just how many errors have been perpetuated over the years. This book seeks to dispel those myths. But, in the process of disentanglement, new facts and insights emerge which prove equally intriguing about the man and his magic. Rarely does a book merge two such endlessly fascinating subjects as magic and Charles Dickens into one.
This copy is in very good condition.