Caveney, Mike, & William Rauscher
- Servais Le Roy Monarch of Mystery; Magical Pro-Files series, number 8
Mike Caveney's Magic Words, Pasadena CA, 1999.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 320pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece, many monochrome illustrations and diagrams and 16pp. of colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper very lightly edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. As a performer and inventor of magic and illusions, Servais Le Roy had no peer. Harry Houdini praised him, Howard Thurston feared him and Harry Kellar called him the most finished artist he had ever seen. Mrs. Le Roy, known around the world as "Talma: The Queen of Coins", was often compared to that great sleight-of-hand expert, T. Nelson Downs, and the rotund Leon Bosco induced gales of laughter by switching the heads on two living birds. Together, as Le Roy, Talma and Bosco, "The Comedians de Mephisto", they produced a full evening of magical entertainment unlike anything the world had ever seen. This is the story of their rise to fame starting with Le Roy's early visits to Egyptian Hall in London with his boyhood friend David Devant, his first success in England's music halls and American vaudeville during the 1890s, and finally, international fame as a recognized star of the Variety stage. During Le Roy's amazing life he rubbed shoulders (and did battle) with many of the biggest names in show business. Drawing on a number of primary sources including William Rauscher's long friendship with Le Roy's chief assistant Elizabeth Ford, Le Roy's previously unpublished notebook, and on years of dedicated research, the authors were able to include - amongst many other things - previously unpublished illusion secrets, Le Roy's inspirational rise to international fame and, finally, his catastrophic final performance and heartbreaking demise. No. 979 of only 1,000 copies.
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