- Houdini's Movies
- Les merveilleux exploits de Houdini à Paris (1909)
- The Master Mystery (1918)
- The Grim Game (1919)
- Terror Island (1920)
- The Man From Beyond (1922)
- Haldane of the Secret Service (1923)
- Velvet Fingers (1925-26)
- Medium Well Done (1937)
- Religious Racketeers (1938)
- Houdini Picture Corp.
- Film Developing Corp.
- Filming locations
- Unmade Movies
- Deconstructing Houdini '53
- Beatrice Houdini
- Theo Hardeen
- Cecelia Weiss
- Mayer Samuel Weiss
- Jim Collins
- Franz Kukol
- Martin Beck
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- J. Gordon Whitehead
- Edward Saint
- Jacob Hyman
- Leopold Weiss
- Carrie Gladys Weiss
- Bernard M.L. Ernst
- Charmian London
- Jess Willard
- H.P. Lovecraft
- Sherlock Holmes
- Other magicians
- Full Bibliography
- By Houdini
- For Kids
- Wild About Harry Bookshelf
- Houdini His Life Story (1928)
- Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (1959)
- Houdini The Untold Story (1969)
- The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini (1993)
- Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (1997)
- The Secret Life of Houdini (2006)
- The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini (2012)
- The Witch of Lime Street (2015)
- The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini (2019)
- The Official Houdini Seance
- Terror Island screening on Catalina (2018)
- Visiting the Copperfield Collection (2018)
- 278 Open House (2017)
- Los Angeles Conference on Magic History (2015)
- Official Houdini Séance, San Francisco (2015)
- Houdini Historical Roast (2015)
- Midwest Magic History Weekend, Marshall (2015)
- The Grim Game premiere in Hollywood (2015)
- Houdini at Hollywood Heritage (2014)
- Official Houdini Seance, Fort Worth (2012)
- Magic Collectors Weekend, Chicago (2011)
- Houdini Art and Magic exhibition (2010-2012)
- Tony Curtis at The Magic Castle (2009)
Thursday, February 5, 2009
A solid Houdini biography and learning tool
The most recent release is Harry Houdini, part of the “History Makers Bios” series from Lerner Publishing. This 48 page book is aimed at a 4th grade reading level and is a VERY fine biography in all respects.
First off, the book is well illustrated with a mix of photos (most credited to the Library of Congress) and nice original color illustrations by Tad Butler. While there are no new photos here for the hardcore Houdini aficionado, the book does contain a rarely seen pic of Houdini controlling Margery in the Margery Box on page 38, which may be new to some. I also appreciated the photo of New York neck tie cutters in 1889, which gives a feel for the workspace Ehrich Weiss occupied as a teen.
The text is clearly written in simple fact-based sentences that appear to be tailored for reading out loud. The book handles the facts of Houdini’s life responsibly and thoroughly. With the exception of saying the Brothers Houdini charmed snakes as part of their act (and maybe they did -- I’ve just never heard this before), I spotted no inaccuracies or, worse, Houdini mythology stated as fact, which is the scourge of so many Houdini biographies.
In fact, by putting in a sidebar the tale of Houdini’s boyhood encounter with a convict while working for a locksmith, and clearly staying that it is “a story that is told,” this little bio demonstrates greater responsibility than the newest adult Houdini biography (which plays very fast and loose with this tale). While the many apocryphal tales of Houdini are tempting -- especially when we’re talking about tantalizing young readers -- Janet Piehl sticks with the facts. Bravo.
The book also includes a timeline and bibliography of books, websites, and further reading recommendations.
All in all, this is an excellent biography of Houdini and a first rate learning tool for young magic and reading enthusiasts.
This review first appeared on Houdini Lives.
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