The Secrets of Houdini

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The Secrets of Houdini
TheSecretsOfHoudini.jpg
1931 UK first edition hardcover
AuthorJ. C. Cannell
PublisherHutchinson and Co.
Publication Date1931
LanguageEnglish
SubjectHoudini
 

The Secrets of Houdini by J. C. Cannell was first published in 1931 exposes some key Houdini methods and contains a collection of rare photographs. The book is arguably superior to the officially sanctioned Houdini's Escapes by Walter B. Gibson, which was published in the U.S. the previous year.

John Clucas Cannell was a journalist, author, amateur magician and friend of Will Goldston. Cannell makes reference to "his friend" Will Goldston within the first few paragraphs of his introduction and the book includes a photo of Houdini and Goldston. It's quite possible that Goldston helped with the book.[1]

Editions

  • 1931 - First in UK by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd
    1973 Dover paperback edition
  • 1932 - Second edition added a new "Author's Note"
  • 1938 - A paperback edition by Hutchinson's Pocket Library. The title page notes that it's the "38th Thousand" printing and the Author's Note does not appear.
  • 1971 - First US edition by Gyrphon Books as a facsimile of the UK printing, "Third Impression".
  • 1973 - Dover paperback edition which added 24 new illustrations. There have been dozens of printings of the Dover paperback over the years that offer subtle changes in the color of the cover art.
  • 1974 - A hardcover edition published by Gale, a facsimile of the Third Impression.
  • 1989 - New hardcover edition by Bell containing a new forward by Bud Masterson and restores Cannell's "Author's Note". Also, they retouched some of the photographs and credits the poster and props to "Flosso Hornmann Magic Inc., the world's oldest magic shop".
  • 2010 Mde available as a print-on-demand in hardcover and paperback.
  • 2012 - Amazon.com lists sections of the book as separate "books" by J.C. Cannell with titles like: "Harry Houdini the True Escapist Extraordinaire" and "Houdini and the Art of Illusion and Disillusion."

Table of Contents (1973 Dover Edition)

  • 11 Chapter I Harry Houdini, His Life Story
    • 13 Famous Spiritual Leader Who Became His Friend
    • 20 Accident Which Brought Him a Life Partner
    • 21 Early Struggles
    • 22 Ultimate Triumph and Premature Death
  • 25 Chapter II 25 Houdini's Spectacular Escapes
    • 26 His Remarkable Failure at the Magician's Club
    • 28 Escape from Bank-Safe
    • 33 Boiler Escape
    • 36 Paper Bag Release
    • 39 Mail Bag Too
    • 41 Through a Brick Wall
    • 45 Buried Alive
    • 49 From an Iron Box
    • 51 Out of a Sack
    • 53 Packing Case Under Water
    • 56 The Vanishing Horseman
    • 57 Box and Sack
    • 59 Needles and Thread
    • 60 Vanishing Elephant
    • 61 The Mystery of the Milk Can
  • 63 Chapter III Houdini's Spiritualist Activities
    • 65 A Sulky Spirit
    • 67 Secrets of the Locked Box
    • 71 Mental Evidence
    • 74 A Liner Mystery: Mystifying Passengers In a Liner
    • 78 Spirit Writing on Sealed Slates
    • 83 The Mystery of the Newspapers
    • 85 Ghosts and How to Make Them
    • 87 Table Lifting
    • 100 Spirits Defy Bonds
    • 106 Messages In Blood
    • 109 Personal Seance Experiences
  • 115 Chapter IV Fakir Wonders
    • 115 Miracles Which Houdini Exposed - My Researches
    • 116 Stopping the Pulse At Will
    • 118 Walking on Fire and Broken Glass
    • 119 Thought Reading
    • 121 Houdini as Clairvoyant
    • 124 The Indian Rope Tick
    • 126 The Boy In the Basket
    • 128 The Mystery of the Mango Tree
    • 129 Sand and Water
    • 131 Nailing a Fakir to Wooden Blocks
  • 132 Chapter V Houdini as Handcuff King
    • 133 How He Baffled the Police Forces of the World
    • 143 A Russian Prison on Wheels
    • 149 Impudent Rival Put to Flight
    • 155 The Cleverness of Simplicity
  • 161 Chapter VI Rope Ties and How to Escape from Them
    • 165 The Jacoby Tie
    • 169 The Thumb Tie
    • 174 Bow Tied in a Second
    • 177 Magic Knots
    • 179 Imitation Tomfool Knot
    • 181 More About Spirits
    • 183 A Trick Done Backwards
    • 184 The Girl Escapes
    • 186 Spirit Knots
    • 188 The Kellar Tie
    • 191 Ropes and Rings
    • 196 Mystery String
  • 200 Chapter VII Miscellaneous Magic
    • 200 The Ring and the Dove
    • 201 The Disappearing Glass of Wine
    • 202 The Ivory Pillars
    • 202 Cut String Restore
    • 204 The Bowl of Ink
    • 206 The Coin Finder
    • 207 The Watch and the Loaf
    • 210 The Pierced Hand
    • 217 Vanishing From a Box and Cabinet
    • 218 The Mystery of the Crystal
  • 220 Chapter VIII Illusions and Disillusion
    • 220 Disappearing Man
    • 221 The Veiled Woman
    • 222 An Escape in Mid-Air
    • 222 The Caged Woman
    • 223 Girl and The Dominoes
    • 224 Fire and Water
    • 225 Illusions With Mirrors
    • 226 The Country Girl
    • 227 The Hammock
    • 227 The Arbour
  • 238 Chapter IX Card Tricks
    • 238 Examples of Thought Reading
    • 239 A Code
    • 242 Magnetic Aces
    • 243 The Jumping Cards
    • 243 The Change-Over
    • 245 A Feat of Strength
    • 245 The Boomerang Card
    • 246 Cutting The Cards
    • 246 The Torn Card
    • 247 Vanishing Cards By Pistol
    • 254 The Four Aces
    • 276 The Herschell Card Stabbing Trick

References

  1. http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2013/01/the-secrets-of-secrets-of-houdini.html
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