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Isn't it Wonderful? A History of Magic and Mystery

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Isn't it Wonderful? A History of Magic and Mystery
Wonderful frontispiece.jpg
AuthorCharles Bertram
PublisherSwan Sonnenschein
IllustratorPHIL MAY, A. C. CORBOULD, BERNARD F. GRIBBLE, and other Artists
Publication Date1896
Followed byA Magician in Many Lands

One of two books by Charles Bertram, "The Royal Conjuror." Includes an overview of the history of magic, followed by a memoir of his life as a magician. The title comes from Bertram's catch-phrase, "Isn't it wonderful?"


THE profession of conjuring, if not the most ancient, is certainly one of the oldest professions in the world, and, before commencing my account of the efforts made by a humble professor of the art, I trust that the reader may be interested by a short sketch of its history. Without this, it is possible that he might receive a book relating to the conjurer's art with a shrug of the shoulders. But conjuring, if it has now drifted down to the level of mere entertainment, has played its part in the history of the world ; and even nowadays I am prepared to hold that it is an art which, if it is not the intellectual peer of painting or poetry for instance, still demands the devotion of a lifetime and a natural aptitude, it not genius, from him who would excel in it.


  • Introduction
  • My Introduction to the Art of Conjuring
  • Some Notable Performances
  • People whom I have met
  • Public Performances
  • Illusions, etc.
  • Dodges
  • False Shuffles
  • "Sharps on the Turf."
  • Some Incidents
  • Explanations of a few Tricks
  • Hints to Amateurs
  • L'Envoie


Isn't it Wonderful? is in the Public Domain in the United States, and is available as a downloadable digital text from, among other places, the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library.

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