Anyone who has tried to read Devant’s ‘My Magic Life’ knows that it can be frustrating and confusing because of the way it is organised – or not organised! Anne Goulden has produced a useful guided tour that tells you where aspects of Devant’s life can be found. Equally importantly, it tells you what can be ignored if you wish to concentrate only on Devant’s life.
Many of the Maskelyne items in the Davenport Collection were made for public consumption: programmes, publicity material, printed books, and so on. One of our shelves is occupied by books which were always intended to be private. They are the surviving business records of the Maskelynes at St George’s Hall.
The purpose of this article is to record the scope of these business records and provide examples of their content.
This giveaway lists three performers in the St. George’s Hall show: Warwick Pryce; Charles Morritt; E.A. Maskelyne. On the evidence of the programmes in the Davenport Collection, all these performers and the listed illusions were in the show in October 1913. The pillar box illusion was introduced by Morritt in June 1913 under the name ‘From Pillar to Post’. Shortly afterwards the name was changed to ‘Another Pillar Box Mystery’.
The printer’s date is 12 December 1911.
The bill includes La Fenetre de la Maison Hantée (The Window of the Haunted House) invented by Maskelyne and Devant.
Issue dated 23 December 1911. The advertisement mentions Mr. David Devant with The Window of the Haunted House; etc.
Issue dated 10 April 1913. The advertisement mentions Mr. David Devant in Rag-Time Magic, etc; Raymond Phillips’ New Wireless Alarm Signal; etc.
Issue dated 11 June 1913. The advertisement mentions Raymond Phillips’ Wireless Airship; New Mysteries; The A.B.C. Fly; The Panel; etc.
Issue dated 13 May 1913. The advertisement mentions New Illusions; The A.B.C. Fly; The Panel; Electric Culture; Travelling Thoughts; etc.
Issue dated 14 August 1913. The advertisement mentions New Pillar Box Mystery; Raymond Phillips’ Airship; New Series of Mysteries; etc.