Jean Eugne Robert-Houdin (1805-71) is often called the father of modern conjuring. His name was later adopted by magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, whose highly sceptical expos of Victorian spiritualism is also published in this series. The best-known magician of his time, Robert-Houdin toured France, England and Germany, performed for Queen Victoria, and was sent to French Algeria by Napoleon III to demonstrate the perceived superiority of French magic to the local shamans. This book, originally published in 1868, is devoted primarily to coin and card tricks, but Robert-Houdin also describes many other magical tricks and includes a history of conjuring. In 1877 the book appeared in this English translation by Louis Hoffmann (1839-1919). Hoffmann (real name Angelo John Lewis, a barrister) had published his own guide to magic in 1876, and both books caused controversy for revealing the secrets of stage magicians in such unprecedented detail.