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Hiding The Elephant
About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099476641
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $24.99

Hiding The Elephant

How Magicians Invented the Impossible


Formats & editions


'A highly entertaining study of magic's Golden Age' (The Times). Simon Mayo and Independent Book of the Year and International Bestseller. The true story behind Jonathan Strange

This is the story of the Golden Age of magic and of the world's most legendary magicians: the eccentric personalities who patented the first ghost and competed fiendishly in the race to make things materialize, levitate and disappear. We meet Harry Kellar, the ruthless thief of secrets who was the model for the Wizard of Oz, and PT Selbit, the first man to saw a woman in half on stage. We meet John Nevil Maskelyne, whose Egyptian Theatre was a London institution for sixty years. HIDING THE ELEPHANT is the masterwork of a man who has dedicated his life to magic, who knows the tricks inside out, and still believes.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099476641
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Jim Steinmeyer

Jim Steinmeyer has designed illusions for David Copperfield, Ricky Jay, Siegfried & Roy and Orson Welles, and for six Broadway shows including The Beauty and the Beast. A consultant for a six-part BBC documentary on the history of magic, he also designed the illusions for Richard Eyre's Mary Poppins and is a contributing editor of Magic magazine. His previous books include Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural, The Glorious Deception and Hiding the Elephant.

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Praise for Hiding The Elephant

“'An extremely entertaining history of magic'”

Sunday Telegraph

“'Highly readable... fascinating... remarkable.'”

The Mail

“'Steinmeyer's history of the golden age of stage magic was a dazzling read, and has given me a few ideas about how to keep the family entertained at Christmas.'”

Matthew Sweet, Independent


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