Ruse & Erdnase
search for one who may not want to be found.
for those interested in the history of magic. Who was S.W. Erdnase,
author of Experts at the Card Table?
1902 under the pseudonym S.W. Erdnase and the title Expert at the Card
Table, a book on sleight-of-hand with cards was published. This book
became the bible for card magicians. To this date it remains arguably
the single most important book on sleight-of-hand card magic. Some of
the most respected masters of card magic, like the late Dai Vernon, have
repeatedly pointed to Erdnase as their guide. The book has been
reprinted and annotated several times over the past decades. However,
despite the importance and standing the book has achieved, the author
has never been identified. Many scholars, experts of magic and gambling,
as well as historians and scientists have tried to identify who is
hiding behind the Erdnase pseudonym. For instance the Scientitic
American puzzle editor and dean of science and math populizers,
Martin Gardner, spent many years searching for Erdnase's true identity.
Several candidates have been suggested and portrayed as Erdnase, but to
this date the identification remains controversial.
book by Hurt McDermott collects, evaluates, interprets and extends the
facts and findings concerning the major Erdnase candidates. They are
carefully weighed against each other. Although through this work
McDermott shows how he has formed his opinion of the most likely
candidates, the book's primary purpose is to survey all existing
theories, to put them under a common objective microscope, and to guide
and help the reader to form his own opinion of who Erdnase might have
Price £40.00 (plus postage)