Stodare, The Enigma Variations by Edwin Dawes, Ltd 1st Edition

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This is a 1998 1st edition that was limited to only 500 copies. This book tells the story of a Victorian conjurer who found brief fame and fortune in London before death claimed him as a young man. He will be forever remembered as the performer who introduced to the wider world one of the most acclaimed and astonishing illusions of all time, 'The Sphinx.' It is, perforce, an incomplete story, one that has been pieced together from many sources over a goodly number of years. The stimulus for the research was a collection of intriguing and bewildering problems surrounding this performer as recorded in the existing literature of conjuring and even extending to bibliographic puzzles arising from the few books that he authored. In none of these books did he proffer any biographical information; thus everything that is recorded about his background derives from the often conflicting observations of those who claimed to know him. As the last surviving witness died over half a century ago, it was not possible to cross-examine, and interpretation and conjecture have been inevitable. If there be any consolation in the absence of autobiographical material, then surely it must be that the self-aggrandizement and fictional accretions that have generally characterized the autobiographies of magicians cannot cloud this particular horizon. 

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