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The Great Illusionists (Kindle)

Social History

By Derek Tait
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 49.0 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781473890770
eBook Released: 23rd March 2018

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In a time before television, radio and cinema, entertainment was found at the many music halls and theatres up and down Great Britain. Acts were varied and included singers, comedians, acrobats, dance acts, animal acts, magicians and escapologists as well as male and female impersonators. Shows played to packed audiences.

Many people escaped their hum-drum lives, working in cotton mills, coal mines or factories up and down the country, by visiting the local theatre or music hall. Magicians and illusionists attracted huge crowds all over the country. This book includes the stories of some of the best illusionists as well as speciality acts such as Datas and The Human Fly. Some are still well-known names today, while others will be unheard of by many. Marvel at the feats and lives of the Davenport Brothers, the Great Raymond, David Devant, Carl Hertz and Harry Kellar. Relive the tragedies such as the deaths on stage of Chung Ling Soo and the Great Lafayette.

The performers of the late 1800s and early 1900s made way for the many great illusionists and stage artists that we have today. Acts such as David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy and David Blaine are all influenced by the likes of Houdini, The Great Lafayette and Robert-Houdini and without the innovations of the early artists, the modern performers might not exist - how different would entertainment be to this day?

Read this review online here.

Magonia

As featured by

Antiques Diary, July-August 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Well written and very informative. The book will apply to those with a interest in the entertainment industry and to those who enjoy the history of past illusionist who laid the path for the illusionist of today.

Overall I found the book enjoyable, and I liked the fact that it's the kind of book that doesn't need to be read front to back, the reader can easily dip in and out where she or he wishes to.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this interesting book.

NetGalley, reviewed by S Ballinger
 Derek Tait

About Derek Tait

Derek Tait is a full-time author who lives in Plymouth. Born in 1961, he lived his early years in Singapore and Malaysia and has written several books about his time there, including 'Sampans, Banyans and Rambutans'. A former photographer and cartoonist, his work has been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. A keen historian, his books include '1950s Childhood,' 'A 1970s Childhood,' 'Butlins An Illustrated History' and 'Houdini the British Tours' as well as many books in the 'Through Time' series for Amberley Publishing.He has also written many local history books including 'Plymouth,' 'Plymouth at War,' 'Saltash Passage,' 'St Budeaux,' 'Plymouth Hoe,' 'Mount Edgcumbe,' 'Saltash,' 'Memories of St Budeaux,' 'Plymouth Tales From the Past' and 'Images of Plymouth.

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