Monday, November 29, 2010

Houdini A Pictorial Life Collector's Edition

Milbourne Christopher's 1976 book, Houdini: A Pictorial Life, has been released in a new "Collector's Edition" by 1878 Press. The hardcover contains additional material by Maurine Christopher and an introduction by David Haversat.

So is this worth the rather steep $41.95 price? I took the plunge for all of us and bought a copy, and here's what I have to report.

While the print quality is not quite as good as the original '76 book, it is a far cry better than the 1998 reprint from Gramercy. The color pages, completely missing from the Gramercy edition, are included here in a nice supplemental section containing many color pages, including an absolutely fantastic full page photo of a young Houdini holding a straitjacket that I've never seen.

Also unique to this edition is new section on Bess Houdini written by Maurine Christopher, which includes several terrific shots of Bess that, again, I've never seen. In the back of the book is a sleeve containing some "framable" extras from the Christopher collection. The book comes without a dust jacket.

I'd say this is absolutely worth the buy, especially if you don't have a copy of the original, or only have the '89 edition. And if you love your Bessie like I do...well, then there's no question about it.

 Houdini: A Pictorial Life Collector's Edition is currently being sold on eBay and

New color section in Houdini A Pictorial Life Collector's Edition.


  1. I will definately be picking this up. Thanks John!

  2. It would be worth having for that photo alone. Sweet.

  3. Right ... it's in the mail. Very excited.

  4. It's here ... broke all speed records apparently.

    The bits at the back are fantastic. Loved the straitjacket photo. I don't think I've seen the ones before of HH and Bess going all tropical on their way to Australia. Pity he didn't manage to get that autobiography written.