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Professor Hoffmann

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Professor Hoffmann
BornAngelo John Lewis
July 23, 1839
London [1]
DiedDecember 23, 1919 (age 80)
Bexhill, Sussex [2]
Notable worksModern Magic (1876)
More Magic (1890)
Later Magic (1903)
Latest Magic (1918)
Known forLeading writer on Magic
CategoriesBooks by Professor Hoffmann

Professor Louis Hoffmann (b.1839-d.1919), born Angelo John Lewis in England, was a lawyer, professor and the leading writer on magic, and on the games, amusements and puzzles of his time.


Professor Hoffmann wrote a series of articles on magic for a boy's magazine (Every Boy's Annual) that was later expanded into his classic book on magic, Modern Magic, first published in 1876.[3] He used the pen name, Professor Hoffman, because he feared that his professional prospects as a lawyer would be injured if it became known that he possessed such an intimate knowledge of the arts of deception.[4] He had magic lessons from Hellis and Charlier.[5]

He was also the author of a novel for kids entitled Conjurer Dick (1886).

Another of his works is entitled The Haunted Hat: A magical short story, first published in Chambers's Journal, January 7, 1905, pages 91-95. Sixth Series,Volume 8, Number 371, and reprinted in Magic (Stanyon) and The Linking Ring.[6]

His classic Modern Magic (1876), and three sequels (More Magic (1890), Later Magic (1903), and Latest Magic (1918) have been reprinted numerous times in many different editions since their original publication,[3] and are still in print and enjoy popular sales today to magic enthusiasts. First edition copies of the original works command high values in both the magic, and the rare book, collector's markets.[4]

Of the series, Modern Magic is the most famous. It provides advice on the appearance, the manner of dress, and the staging for magicians. It goes on to describe many different effects with playing cards, coins, watches, rings, handkerchiefs, dominoes, dice, cups and balls, balls, and hats. It concludes with a long chapter on miscellaneous tricks, including magic with strings, gloves, eggs, rice and descriptions of some utility devices. The penultimate chapter describes large stage illusions, and the final chapter contains advice on routines for a magic show, and more advice on staging.[7]

Its popularity is due in part to the scarcity of teaching materials available to would-be magicians in the late 19th Century.[7] Modern Magic was the first book in the English language to really explain the techniques of how to perform magical feats.[8]

Magic related books

More Magic (1890)

"Modern Magic" series

Other works


  1. Books at Brown, VOLUME XXXIV, 1987, ©1989 Brown University, Professor Hoffmann and his Modern Magic, page 80
  2. James - Haxton Correspondence No. 11 1964-1967, 15th April 1966, page 403
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hoffmann's Five Foot Shelf of Magic by H. Adrian Smith in Tops, Vol. 1, no. 12, december 1936, page 47
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gingles, J. - "My Secret Hobby & Favorite Escapes (Puns Intended)", from Accidents of Luck - A Personal Memoir, Washington, DC, 2007.
  5. The Magic Circular, vol. 14, no. 161, February 1920, Obituary, page 67.
  6. Professor Hoffmann: A Bibliography by Sawyer, Thomas A. (1983)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Modern Magic by Professor Hoffmann (edn: 17)
  8. MagicNook - Hoffmann Books. Accessed 2015-07-21


  • Photo Genii 1951 May
  • The Sphinx, Vol. XXXVIII, No. Six, August 1939, Professor Louis Hoffmann's Centennial, Biograhy, page 155

External links