But what happens behind the closed doors of this intriguing society that only admits the most gifted magicians? In this fascinating history of the Magic Circle and magical performers, its former president, Michael Bailey, reveals how the society was created and what it stands for in a time when magic has become more and more sophisticated. Using his unique knowledge of the inside of this worldwide phenomenon, he documents the origins of magical performance and the subsequent beginnings of the society, including how it has changed in its hundred years of existence. This mesmerising book also chronicles the lives of some of the Circle's most famous performers, including Paul Daniels, David Copperfield and Channing Pollock. He takes the reader through the history of magical performers, from the age-old myth of the Indian Rope Trick and how the Rabbit from a Hat trick came about. He describes a selection of the world's greatest tricks and illusions, and discusses topics such as entry to the Circle, women in magic (including the 'beautiful assistant') and the motto 'indocilis privata loqui' ('keep mum').
This absorbing volume is a must for all those fascinated by the secret world of magic and magical performers, and will be an invaluable addition to any would-be magician's bookshelf.
Michael Bailey has been a professional magician since 1971, and was president of the Magic Circle until 2003. He was awarded the Magic Circle Gold Medal, the highest degree obtainable in the society and only held by eight other magicians, in 2005. He is credited with adapting magic to the corporate market, and starred in his own television series Mr and Mrs Magic.