1897 was the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign. There were to be Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Maskelyne saw an opportunity to make a good profit by building a Grand Pavilion with a view of the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the ceremony was to take place. Unfortunately, the speculation did not turn out well. Dr Dawes draws on many sources to tell this story. We meet David Devant and Douglas Beaufort and learn about some rather surprising litigation that resulted from Maskelyne’s initiative.

William Morton spotted Maskelyne and Cooke in their early years when they were touring the provinces and at the same time improving their show. He stayed with them as their manager until well into their long tenure at the Egyptian Hall in London. Drawing on Morton’s autobiography, Dr Dawes is able to throw light on this period, including information on the business relationship between Morton and Maskelyne and Cooke.

William Morton continued to work in the world of entertainment and eventually had several theatres and cinemas in Hull. His story tells us much about the entertainment industry.

Various types of list are included: membership lists for The Magic Circle, The British Ring No. 25 of the I.B.M. for the years 1984, 1987, 1996, 2001, 2005; Magic Collectors’ Association membership lists for 1984, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2002; Wittus Witt’s ‘International Magic Yellow Pages’ for 1990 and 1999; The W-I-S-E [Wales – Ireland – Scotland – England] section of ‘Magicians of the World’ compiled by Len Vintus in 1978.