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Magic Advent Calendar – DECEMBER 5

Hello everyone!

Here we are at the 5th installment of the Magic Advent Calendar.

While leisurely walking through Basel, my home town, the display in front of an antique book shop caught my attention: they were selling the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1910/11 in 26 volumes individually for 5 Francs the volume (cost of 1 cup of coffee in Switzerland, 5 espressi in Italy…). So I immediately checked the entry «conjuring», and lo and behold, as in several other editions, there was an extensive essay on the subject.
I bought the copy for you (and me!), scanned the essay, and here it is for your perusal and collection. (BTW: It would be nice if at some point we got all entries from all the EB editions on «conjuring» – as you might know the EB had a new edition about every ten years, and each time the essays were penned by different experts).
The authors of the article are three: John Nevil Maskelyne (well-known), G. Faur (I have never heard of him), John Algernon Clarke (maybe Sidney Clarke’s father?). I haven’t researched Faur nor Clarke, so if you have any info, let me know.
Later articles are by John Mulholland and Ricky Jay, very interesting.
Also, it would be informative to see what other big encyclopedias wrote/write about «conjuring-magic» (Brockhaus in Germany, Larousse in France, Treccani in Italy, Spain??? etc.). If you live in one of these countries and are interested,  you can find and send me the PDFs. Be aware that there might be various editions with various entries.
I find it enlightening to read definitions of magic by experts and laymen alike, as they reflect the understanding (or not-so-understanding) of the subject, how magic is perceived from inside and outside, and in different cultures, at different times. As far as I know this focus has not yet been discussed…much.
To read and download the PDF CLICK HERE.
Ad for Encyclopedia Britannica
Have a nice 5th of December!

3 thoughts on “Magic Advent Calendar – DECEMBER 5

  1. Lieber Roberto, vielen dank für den tollen Adventskalender… Ich fühle mich jeden morgen auch als kleiner Bub, wenn ich ein “Türchen” bei Dir öffne. Weihnachtliche Grüsse aus Luzern: Florian

  2. Much thanks for your generous gift of this 2020 Magic Advent Calendar. It brings some holiday cheer and light to these dark days—and I’m writing from sunny Los Angeles.

  3. Faur is a Romanian Family name. G might stand for Gabriel, George, Gheorghe or Grigore (these are usual Romanian first names that start with G). Maybe this helps you narrow down the search.

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