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The Life & Times of The Great Lafayette

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The Life & Times of The Great Lafayette

By Arthur Setterington

Find out why Will Goldson referred to Lafayette as

"The Most Hated Magician Who Ever Lived!"

in spite of the fact that between 150,000 - 200, 000 people lined the streets for his funeral!

A fascinating account of Houdini's friend and contemporary during the "Ragtime" era! More than a biography ... you'll be transported back to the early years of the past century and meet all the major players of what was known as "The Golden Age of Variety" and the heyday of magic. 

EVERY serious student of magic and its rich history should have a copy of this "link to the golden age of magic" in their personal library, as it provides a colorful glimpse into magic the way it was, and more importantly, where it's going. With the last remaining copies of this book recently uncovered, grabbling a copy before it goes out of print should be your first priority!

Revelations about Houdini, Horace Goldwin, Will Goldston...

Little-known details about many famed magicians of the period, along with accounts of performances, news stories and personal comments by

  • Houdini's "patriotic mystery" and his role during the war effort.
  • A surprising revelation concerning the rumor that Ching Ling Soo's death during the bullet catch was actually a suicide.
  • Why Lafayette provoked (and narrowly avoided) a fistfight with the world heavyweight boxing champion.
  • What was behind Lafayette's threatened lawsuit against Horace Goldin 


  • his unusual, obsessive relationship with his mongrel dog, Beauty (if you thought Houdini's attachment to his mother was excessive, wait till you see this!)
  • some of the fabricated legends surrounding Lafayette which are still perpetuated as true.
  • the usual way Lafayette attracted scores of publicity and set the standard for high fees, earning as much as one thousand pounds per week in 1910!

 This book tells the story and the events that led up to the night of his sudden and tragic death in the fire at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Over A Dozen Lafayette Mysteries Revealed

Lafayette designed all of his own illusions and proudly boasted that he had ever bought or sold a trick. There's the effect Jasper Maskelyne called "one of the most spectacular illusions ever presented by a magician!"'ll learn all about this Lafayette original how it's done
Two informative chapters are devoted to illustrated explanations of some of Lafayette's MOST POPULAR ILLUSIONS, INCLUDING "THE LION'S BRIDE" - the first time that "The King of Beasts" had been used in a magic show... foreshadowing the success of Siegfried and Roy by over 50 years!


Discover What Actually Happened

the Night of the Tragic Theatre Fire That Took His Life

  • What caused it and how the tragedy could have been prevented.
  • How a case of mistaken identity resulted in the wrong man being cremated.
  • How the fire revealed an important clue to Lafayette's most baffling mysteries.

Over two dozen photos, posters, and playbill reproductions accompany Setterington's richly -textured prose, recalling the first decade of the past century in such vivid detail. You can almost hear the oil lanterns.

You'll Also Learn About...

  • Lafayette's bizarre internment request.
  • The gift Houdini gave Lafayette, and the unusual tribute he bestowed upon his death.
  • How Lafayette "fooled them in life - and death".


Arthur Setterington has contributed more than 640 articles to magic magazines around the world and is a lecturer on magic and the allied arts. He is a recipient of the prestigious Linking Ring Trophy from The International Brotherhood of Magicians for his literary achievements and holds one of the highest degrees in The Magic Circle of London - Member of the Inner Circle (with Gold Star)

A wonderfully detailed book that reveals the real story of one of magic's most colorful performers...a book which nearly was lost forever when the publisher suffered a stroke and dissolved his business, leaving all remaining copies of this book buried in a warehouse for nearly a decade!

Details: The Life & Times of The Great Lafayette

15 Line Illustrations, 21 photographic reproductions

112 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, printed on acid-free paper, size 9" by 11 1/2".

Media Type Shipped Product

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