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Henning Nelms

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Henning Nelms
BornHenning Cunningham Nelms
November 30, 1900
Baltimore, Maryland
DiedMay 23, 1986 (age 85)
Resting placeWhite Plains Rural Cemetery
CategoriesBooks by Henning Nelms

Henning Nelms (1900-1986), a lawyer, theatrical director, amateur magician and novelist, was the author of the conjuring books Applause and How to Get It and Magic and Showmanship: a Handbook for Conjurers (1969).


Nelms also wrote two mystery novels under the pen name Hake Talbot: The Hangman's Handyman (1942) and Rim of the Pit (1944). The latter is considered a classic of the "locked room" mystery genre.

He wrote the play Only an Orphan Girl (1944), and the nonfiction books Lighting the Amateur Stage (1931), Building an Amateur Audience (1936), A Primer of Stagecraft (1941), Play Production (1950), and Thinking with a Pencil (1964).

He was a member of the SAM assembly 23 and IBM ring 50 in Washington DC in the 1960s. He would submit the reports to MUM and Linking Ring. He taught drama at Middlebury College in Vermont.


The magic of drama is infinitely more powerful than the magic of trickery. It is as available to the conjurer as it is to the actor. The only difference is that actors take it for granted, whereas few conjurers are even aware that it exists. - Magic and Showmanship


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