Signed by HoudiniHarry Houdini. A Magician Among the Spirits. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1924.
First edition, signed and inscribed by Houdini on the front free endpaper. Large octavo. 294 pages. With numerous full-page photographic plates, including the photographic frontispiece of the author with author and spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle, and several black-and-white text illustrations.
Publisher's cadet blue cloth with gilt titles. Housed in a custom half leather clamshell box with gilt titles and decorations inside compartments with five raised bands. Moderate shelf wear, with lightly rubbed corners. Spine sunned. Textblock edges toned. Minimal scattered foxing, mostly at the endpapers and plates. Former owner's name in ink on the front free endpaper and the half-title page. Interior tight and clean. A sturdy copy in very good condition.
With this book, Houdini threw down the gauntlet as he took on false mediums, debunking the myths surrounding psychics, mediums, conjurers and their kin. The book caused a rift in Houdini's friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle and led directly to the two men becoming public antagonists. In her book, Harry Houdini: Death-Defying Showman, Rita Thievon Mullin writes, "A Magician Among the Spirits...included a chapter on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which said that although Sir Arthur was a 'brilliant man,' he was blind in his acceptance of even fraudulent mediums. The book cost [Houdini] a friendship. After the book was published, Sir Arthur never wrote to Harry again."
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