Thursday, August 12, 2010

New book to tell story of Marie Blood

Greg Edmonds, whose Ars Praestigium recently released the amazing new cold cast bronze bust of Houdini created by renowned sculptor Peter Close, tells us he is currently working on a new book that will tell the story of Houdini’s niece, Marie Blood. Says Greg:

“The book I'm working on is tentatively entitled Harry and Bess - Marie Hinson Blood's life with The Great Houdinis. We decided to aim the publication at the adolescent market because Marie was only days shy of her ninth birthday when Harry died, and because a portion of the book's proceeds will go to the Society Of American Magician's youth chapter, with which Marie was heavily involved. 
As you may be aware, after Harry's death, Bess moved in with Marie and her parents. Marie inherited Houdini's bedroom suite, and slept in his bed until she married Forrest. As a youngster, she frequently resided with the Houdinis in Harlem, and went as far as Detroit to appear as a "child volunteer from the audience" in Houdini's shows, something she did several times.
I put the project aside for several years for a variety of reasons, Marie's declining health and my own, chief among them. I am slowly getting the book together again, though. Over the last couple of months I've been gathering items from Jeff [Blood], and hope to include a good many photo illustrations in the work. I plan, at this stage, to publish the work through Ars Praestigium (we have a few others on hold as well), then attempt to shop it out to a big publishing house.”

This sounds like something very special! We’ll keep you updated.


  1. One of the things I loved in Silverman's book is Marie's recollections at the end. The story of how she accidentally spoiled one of his tricks and he went out of his way to reassure her was so beautiful. There was such a kindness about Houdini.

  2. I had the great pleasure of meeting Marie in 1995. We had a wonderful long private talk about Aunt Bess and Uncle Harry. She told me some wild stuff. Just the news that Bess smoked, chain smoked in fact, blew my mind.

  3. Isn't it funny ... the smoking thing? Even funnier that they called it "weed". And there was Houdini who didn't smoke or drink.

    You kind of forget how people used to puff away in the old days (and the not so old days). I remember seeing a photo of Jackie Kennedy, smoking while she was pregnant and being shocked. Of course, any episode of "Mad Men" would give a modern person the same kind of uneasy feeling. =)

    That's great that you got to meet Marie - she seems to have been like a daughter to both of them in some ways. This book will be wonderful when it comes out.

  4. While there are those who believe this project is not meant to be (myself, for a while, among them), I am again at work on the story of Marie Hinson Blood and her life with Harry and Bess. The first draft was created on a PC which died, and though the backed-up files were SUPPOSED to be saved to iCloud. It turned out, they weren't. A copy of the draft e-mailed to Jeff Blood (Marie's son) also vanished into the ether.

    I began again on the project early in 2015, and lost everything (plus all of my other accumulated works on various other projects for the last decade or so) when my iMac died a little over a month ago (June of 2016), just after the good folks at Apple had loaded a brand new hard drive on it.

    For reasons we can't quite understand, neither they, nor I, were able to retrieve the backed-up data from the Apple Time Machine. It was there, but had somehow become corrupted during the upgrade process, and all data was lost.

    I am making one last attempt at getting this material together, while working on a couple of other publishing projects simultaneously. I am HOPING this one works out. I don't think I have the heart to go through the whole process a fourth time.

    So, if the project interests you, it may yet see the light of day.

    1. Thanks for the update, Greg. I was just thinking about this project the other day. Sorry for all your troubles, but glad you are giving it another go.

      In my screenwriting days, I would always drag a copy of my day's work to thumb drive to have a backup off the computer and cloud. Made it part of my work routine.