Friday, December 9, 2011

Adelaide Herrmann Memoirs

(Library of Congress photo)
I decided to rewrite the earlier blog about the new 'Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic Memoirs' book, edited by Margaret Steele. The book can be purchased at!the-book After reading an article about Margaret Steele that appeared in the October 2011 MUM magazine, I found some helpful information that I'm going to share with you.

Margaret Steele, is a musician, magician and magic historian among a host of other things. From what I've read, her approach to magic is quite artistic and she actually presents an act which is an homage to Adelaide Herrmann.

Who was Adelaide Herrmann? She was born Adelaide Scarcez in 1853 in Surrey England. She would meet and marry a man who later become the most famous magician of his time, The Great Herrmann (Alexander Herrmann). They worked together presenting magic all over the Globe until Alexanders sudden death aboard a train in 1896. It was up to Adelaide to pick up the show and carry on the tradition, which she did and became known as the Queen of Magic.

The book is just as much about Alexander as it is Adelaide. The final five chapters are those strictly about Adelaide and her life/work. It's exciting to know that such a book exists as there is just not enough information out there on the Herrmann family.

If you are wondering how this all came about, it turns out that that while Margaret was doing her own research on Adelaide Herrmann, a Herrmann family relative discovered the book. Apparently, it had been passed down through the family and now it was in the hands of someone who wanted to pass it on to a proper home. The relative contacted the SAM Parent Assembly, who in turn contacted Margaret Steele, because they knew of the work she was doing researching Adelaide's life. Long story short, Margaret purchased the book with an agreement to one day pass it on to the Parent Assembly.

How exciting is that? This happened LAST year, in 2010! It gives me such hope that other wonderful magic treasures are still out there waiting to be uncovered. I can't wait to order this book, hopefully they don't run out before that time. I thought I'd share with you a video of Ms. Steele presenting her act 'Cornucopia' An Homage to Adelaide Herrmann. It's a beautiful piece of magic set to an equally amazing piece of music. Enjoy.

You might also be interested in a previous blog article which mentions Compars Herrmann and his daughter, Alexander and Adelaide Herrmann, as well as Houdini, who it turns out was a relative!

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