The Milbourne Christopher Library II by Maurine Brooks Christopher and George P. Hansen

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii September, 1998)

The first volume of the bibliography of the Milbourne Christopher library (reviewed in the Genii , August 1995) itemized more than a thousand books published between the years 1589 and 1900. This second volume completes the bibliography, covering publications released in the years 1901 to 1996. Some of the annotations are arresting, to say the least. How about this entry concerning a copy of Harry Houdini's The Right Way to Do Wrong: "Flyleaf inscribed with note— 'My dear Brother Dash With best wishes and brotherly affection from your brother the author. Harry Houdini Hope the book will help you pass a few pleasant moments. H.H.'" Although the Houdiniana section is remarkable, there are interesting notes on more modern entries as well; consider this notation from the authors concerning a copy of Ricky Jay's Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women: "Includes uncredited illustrations from the Christopher Collection." The photo choices ("Some famous magicians and authors represented in the Milbourne Christopher Library") seem a bit of a stretch and some of the accompanying captions seem downright loopy to this reader, but that observation notwithstanding, this is a useful research tool that serious bibliophiles will want to own; you know who you are and the rest can stay home.

8" X 11" hardcover with dustjacket; 339 pages; 23 pages of photographs of magicians; 1998. Publisher: Mike Caveney's Magic Words