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Castle Notebooks

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The Castle Notebooks are Bruce Cervon's legendary recording of everything he learned from Dai Vernon at the Magic Castle. His notes grew to fill thirteen binders. Bruce jealously guarded them.

The Castle Notebooks were the idea of Larry Jennings, himself a poor taker of notes. He asked Bruce Cervon to begin writing down everything Vernon told Jennings, in addition to Jennings' own material. Eventually Vernon began giving material directly to Cervon. Without Jennings' invitation to Cervon (then living in Ohio) to "come out to Los Angeles--Vernon is here!" there would be no Castle Notebooks today.

Later with Dai Vernon's permission, a small amount of the material from the "Castle Notebooks" was used in "The Vernon Chronicles."

In Cervon's introduction to The Vernon Chronicles, Vol. 1: "[...] In 1971 my note keeping stopped, but I had by then thirteen, hand-printed, eight-by-eleven inch notebooks with over one-hundred pages each. Unfortunately, for Vernon fans, after the fifth volume most of the material is my own."

In Cervon's introduction to The Vernon Chronicles, Vol. 3 "[...] First I go through my notebooks and cull Dai's work from the many items recorded there. Often my notes are condensed and details must be filled in from memory; and sometimes I find tricks that neither Dai nor I have done for many years, and that both of us have forgotten. In such cases, details of handling must be reconstructed."

Castle Notebooks Books

In 2007, L & L Publishing started releasing scanned fascimily of the notebooks as five separate volumes, limiting them to only 500 copies each.

Volume 1

Notebooks 1,2,3 (December 1964 to November 1965)

Volume 2

Notebooks 4,5 (November 1965 - May 1966)

Volume 3

Notebooks 6,7,8 (1966 to 1967)

Volume 4

Notebooks Notebooks 9, 10, 11 (1967 through 1969)

Volume 5

Notebooks 12 and 13 (1967 - 1986) with a substantial part consisting of a cross-referenced index to the complete set.

References and further reading