Magic has enchanted humankind for millennia, evoking terror, laughter, shock, and amazement. Once persecuted as heretics and sorcerers, magicians have always been conduits to a parallel universe of limitless possibility.
Long before science fiction, virtual realities, video games and the internet, the craft of magic was the most powerful fantasy world man had ever known. This book celebrates more than 500 years of the visual culture of the world's greatest magicians. Featuring more than 850 rarely seen vintage posters, photographs, handbills, and engravings, the book explores the evolution of the magician's craft, from medieval street performers to the brilliant stage magicians who gave rise to cinematic special effects; from the 19th century's Golden Age of Magic to groundbreaking daredevils in the early 20th century.