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Pietro Micheli “They lived by tricks”, nuova edizione!


The eighteenth century, and especially the second half, was an extremely resourceful period in the history of conjuring. It saw an exponential growth in the entertainment market, which caused a proliferation of magicians, many of whom can be counted as first rank performance artists.

In this context, where the demand for public entertainment was expanding and the leisure market was extremely competitive, harsh rivalries appeared between performers. The effect of these rivalries was an improvement of the final product and an advancement of the magicians’ art.

This is what “They lived by tricks” is about: the professional strategies, difficulties, rivalries, publicity stratagems, and the successes and failures of eighteenth century magicians.
Never before has such a comprehensively researched study of this most important period in magic’s history been published.

Following the sell-out success of the 2012 edition of “They lived by tricks”, I have continued to uncover amazing new historical material and in this expanded edition I offer to the reader a more methodical and contextualised analysis of the magic performed during this exciting era. The result has significantly expanded my earlier studies, adding important previously unpublished material and nearly tripling the final content of the book.

The majority of the new content analyses the professional lives of the most prominent conjurers of the second half of the 1700s, such as Giuseppe Pinetti, Philip Jonas and Comus. The material on Pinetti alone amounts to over 100 pages; showing nearly 60 images and revealing for the first time previously unpublished broadsides, leaflets, letters, books and documents relating to this most famous magician. As a standalone study it is, in itself, the most complete biography ever written on Pinetti.

In addition to more well known artists, new studies have been added on less documented magicians, such as Mr. Rea, Mr. Zucker, Sieur Moritz, Sieur Pelletier, Vincenzio Barletti and others.
Alongside this substantive new material, the book’s previous content has been further developed: Palatino’s chapter has been completely re-written as fascinating new information has surfaced, and I have fully revised the chapters on Palatine, Breslaw and Boaz, adding many new images.

This new and significantly expanded edition of “They lived by tricks” is a lavishly illustrated reference volume on the history of magic in the eighteenth century.

The book is:

limited to only 200 individually numbered copies;

deluxe, large format (21×28 cms; approx.. 8 ¼ x 11 inches), hardbound edition with handsome see-through dust jacket;

456 pages profusely illustrated with 188 images, 106 of which are in full colour;

most images are never-seen-before rare or unique eighteenth century broadsides.

Don’t miss the opportunity to own this important and fascinating reference work and collectable book in its own right.

Special offer price: only 95 euro until all August 2017 (from 1st Sept. 2017 it will be 120 euro) – Shipping costs: Italy: 15 euro; Europe: 25 euro; USA/rest of the world: 40 euro. To purchase, please make payment via PayPal to:, A PayPal account is not required. For other payment methods or enquiries, please write to the author at the same e-mail address.

Andrea Clemente Pancotti

Principalmente sono io Andrea Clemente Pancotti: infanzia rovinata dai fascicoli di “STUPIRE!” di Carlo “Mago Fax” Faggi. Abbandona l’Arte per poi riscoprirla alla soglia degli ‘anta.“. Ora il team si e’ allargato, siamo comunque un gruppo di amatori, seriamente innamorati della Magia…

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