Friday, March 11, 2011


There is currently a listing on Amazon for a public domain reprint of Houdini's 1908 book, The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin. Notice anything odd about the title?

This egregious typo almost makes me want to buy this. It's a curiosity to be sure. And maybe this same publisher, Nabu Press, will release some of Houdini's other works, such as The Right Way To Do Wong and A Magician Among the Spits.


  1. Robert lived in Baskerville i think

  2. So it's a scan of the original book, which makes me think the illustrations will be reproduced poorly. I have Burlingame's book about Herrmann reproduced with this technique. The first 50 pages were blurry.

  3. Both that book and The Right Way to Do Wrong: An Exposé of Successful Criminals can be downloaded for free at

    (I realize that many of the followers of this blog might already be aware of this, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.)

  4. You can also find at "The Adventurous Life of a Versatile Artist H O U D I N I." It's a pretty good copy too. Definitely worth mentioning.

  5. It might have all started from the Library of Congress. Back in 2008 their electronic records used to include that typo in the title.

    You can still see it here in the second result (bt they have fixed it, as you can see with you click on the title):

    The Open Library project still has the old LOC record, thus the typo:

  6. It's always funny when an obvious typo on the COVER makes it to publication. Well, not funny for the publisher or copy-editors I guess.

    Also, thanks for that link, Raymond! I'll have to check that out. I had no idea you could just download the books for free (but that makes sense, as they're in public domain by now, right?)

  7. Kessinger Publishing has had that same typo on the cover of the same title for years. I discussed this, along with some other goofs (another cover typo, even) here:

  8. Oh, wow, that's a terrific blog you have there. I've added you to my links and will visit often. Thanks. :)


Legal Disclosure

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Receive updates via email