Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bessie's Christ

Here's something special for Easter Sunday. This is a needle point by Bess Houdini of...well, you know who that is. (No, not him.) This hangs in the home of our good friend and benefactor, John C. Hinson, the great-nephew of Harry and Bess Houdini. As with Bessie's letter to John's father Vincent, this again shows how she re-embraced religion later in her life.


Happy Easter.

7 comments:

  1. Bessie loved her needle point. We visited with in Rochester with Marie Blood and saw more of it there. We have many pictures and video of her as well.

    It seems Bess was more religious and superstitious than Harry. I believe she thought or hoped it might really be possible to reach Houdini in a seance. Later, it seems, she became quite disenchanted and bitter about it.

    We know some about her connections to Medium Arthur Ford, as well as the letters back and forth after Houdini died to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Not always clear where Houdini was on this. He claimed different things at different times. Jewish culture was clearly important to him. He formed the Sons of Rabbis in NYC, and asked in his will that Theodore's sons have their Bar Mitzva. He was a Mason. At times if I recall he said he believed in god, and or an afterlife. He also stated a belief in reincarnation. Toward the end he was co-writing a book "The Cancer of Superstition" which it seems if you read the outline and the synopsis would be based in part on the ideas of "The Golden Bough" which was a controversial book some of which claimed the miracles expressed in most religions are but myths of old tales told over and over again, changed over time to suit various beliefs. It also was to use some of the ideas of a similar book, Myths and Myth Makers.

    Houdini was also a collector of the works of Robert Ingersoll, an out spoken atheist, speaker and writer. It was said Houdini had his name or thoughts on his lips when he was dying.

    A Magician Among The Spirits was clearly a book attacking Spiritualism.

    Happy Easter to all,
    Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz
    The Houdini Museum
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini.
    Formally the first Houdini Museum in NYC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is the outline for "The Cancer of Superstition" available somewhere?

      Delete
  2. Happy Easter all. Health,Happiness, Love and Peace.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes. The outline and the first 3 chapters is available in an anthology of works by Lovecraft. It is out of print and sells for around $100. I will have to look up the title when we get back in town. We are touring with our magic shows and our Houdini touring exhibit

    Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz
    The Houdini Museum
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini.
    Formally the first Houdini Museum in NYC.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Houdini Lovecraft Late but here it is..
    The Cancer of Superstition is a manuscript by C. M. Eddy, Jr. that investigates ideas and trends of superstition throughout history. C. M. Eddy, Jr. and H. P. Lovecraft were commissioned to write a book on the subject by famed magician and escapologist Harry Houdini from an outline provided by Lovecraft.

    The 31-page manuscript was discovered in a collection of materials procured by a private collector from a magic shop that had closed. Houdini and Lovecraft scholars knew of the book previously, but until this manuscript was found in 2016, such a complete version of the work was not known to exist. It remains unclear what parts were written by Eddy and what by Lovecraft. A synopsis of the book, as well as a single chapter titled "The Genesis of Superstition", was published in the 1966 as part of the book "The Dark Brotherhood" and Other Pieces.

    It was later sold at auction for quite a bit of money.

    Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks guys. Ended up covering this in 2016 when the manuscript went up for auction: The Cancer of Superstition is FOUND!

      Delete

Translate

Receive updates via email