Quicker Than The Eye. The Magic and Magicians of the World. Illustrated by Cyrus Leroy Baldridge.
Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Publishers, (1932). 8vo, original blue cloth, backstrip & front cover gilt-lettered, in tinted pictorial dust-jacket. 259 pp. Color frontispiece & two plates; fourteen vignettes after sketches. Dust-jacket worn along edges and soiled; covers discolored along joints; foxing and mildew traces on pastedowns; a copy that probably spent some time in humid storage but survived, and that has a significant association inscription. First Edition. Inscribed on front free endpaper: "To my friend Charles / R. Brush with my / most cordial regards / John Mulholland, / March 29, 1932." John Mulholland (1898-1970) was for many years one of the most famous magicians in the world. He was a performer, historian, editor of the most eminent magazine of conjuring, the first "magical lecturer," and the owner of a magnificent library of books on magic. The critic Edmund Wilson called him "a top-notch magician , and one of the world's leading authorities on professional magic." The recipient of this copy, Charles R. Brush (d. 1949), was a celebrated amateur magician under the name of 'Baffles' and was a well-known writer on magic for the European press. This book is itself uncommon, and the reprint by the Junior Literary Guild is sometimes described as the first edition.A notable footnote to any account of the career of John Mulholland was his recruitment by the CIA in 1953 to develop methods of clandestinely administering drugs, chemicals, and poisons to suspected evildoers. These efforts included poisoning Fidel Castro's cigars and Patrice Lumumba's toothpaste. The details of Mulholland's involvement in these activities , which also included causing the death of an American by means of LSD , remain secret.
(Item Id: 5790)