The first edition of 2,000 copies were sold out in seven weeks.
The material in these four books recorded the state of the art of magic of the late 19th century.
The book was serialized in a popular magazines for boys. Most magicians at the time were upset with the exposure. But over time it became the "bible" for many would be magicians.
This book was rated one of the "Ten basic books for a working library of conjuring" by H. Adrian Smith.
Tricks with Cards (1889) was a reprint of the sections dealing with card magic from Modern Magic except for six new pages on scams which included "Canfield's Expose", "short changing", the "soap game" and the "spindle game".
Copyright has expired for this book in the United States (and likely many other countries as well). Two editions are available in their entirety on Google Books: Modern Magic (1904), Modern Magic (1877). The books are also available for PDF download from the same location.
- CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
- CHAPTER II GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF SLEIGHT-OF-HAND APPLICABLE TO CARD TRICKS
- CHAPTER III CARD TRICKS WITH ORDINARY CARDS, AND NOT REQUIRING SLEIGHT-OF-HAND
- CHAPTER IV TRICKS INVOLVING SLEIGHT-OF-HAND, OR THE USE OF SPECIALLY PREPARED CARDS
- CHAPTER V CARD TRICKS REQUIRING SPECIAL APPARATUS
- CHAPTER VI PRINCIPLES OF sLEIGHT-OF-HAND MORE ESPECIALLY APPLICABLE TO COIN TRICKS
- CHAPTER VII TRICKS WITH COIN WITHOUT APPARATUS
- CHAPTER VIII TRICKS WITH COIN REQUIRING SPECIAL APPARATUS
- CHAPTER IX TRICKS WITH WATCHES
- CHAPTER X TRICKS WITH RINGS
- CHAPTER XI TRICKS WITH HANDKERCHIEFS
- CHAPTER XII TRICKS WITH DOMINOES AND DICE
- CHAPTER XIII THE CUPS AND BALLS
- CHAPTER XIV BALL TRICKS REQUIRING SPECIAL APPARATUS.
- CHAPTER XV HAT TRICKS
- CHAPTER XVI MISCELLANEOUS TRICKS
- CHAPTER XVII STAGE TRICKS
- CHAPTER XVIII CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS
- CHAPTER I Introduction
- CHAPTER II KEMPELEN: Kempelen's Speaking Figure
- CHAPTER III THEODIN
- CHAPTER IV AUTOMATA: PSYCHO
- CHAPTER V MARIONETTES
- CHAPTER VI CLAIRVOYANCE
- CHAPTER VII SPIRITUALISM
- CHAPTER VIII PARLOR MAGIC
- 1st edition, 1876, Routledge
- 1st US edition, 1882, Routledge
- reprinted many times by various publishers
- 1889 7th Edition
- 1898 Fifteenth Edition