The Magic of Professor Louis Hoffmann
Most magicians’ throughout our fascinating history gain their notoriety as performers on the stage, on the street, or in a theatre setting. Fortunately a few gain their rightful place in the history of magic from their contribution to magical literature. Born Angelo John Lewis in London on July 23, 1839, Lewis wrote prolifically using the pen name Professor Hoffmann. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 25 volumes on magic and was once described by Harry Houdini as ‘The Brightest star in the firmament of magical literature’. Had he only ever written one book ‘Modern Magic’ in 1876, this would have assured his position as a great magical writer in the annals of the history of magic.
“Modern Magic’ contained not only descriptions of effects using playing cards, dice, coins, watches, rings, hats, cups and balls, handkerchiefs etc. but the manner of dress and stage settings. The book also explained how to routine an act and also various utility devices necessary for conjurors. It was the first book in English that actually became the formal handbook for all aspiring professional performers.