Home » Home and Family » Hobbies

Robert-Houdin - Magician Extraordinaire

Aug 17, 2007
Robert-Houdin who was born in Blois is often credited as being "the father of modern magic". Before him, magicians performed at fairs and in marketplaces, but Robert-Houdin performed magic in theatres and private parties. He wore formal clothes, like those of his audiences. Many magicians today mimic this by wearing tail-coats, though some magicians view this as old-fashioned and prefer contemporary clothes. He is widely considered the pioneer in the modern performance art of illusion. The stage name of Harry Houdini was taken in tribute to him, though Houdini later denounced Robert-Houdin.

Robert-Houdin was a watchmaker, and he made mechanical toys and machines. From an early age he had been interested in juggling and sleight of hand, and in 1845 he began to exhibit his skill, soon becoming famous for his tricks.

The Arabs of Algeria were said to be excited to rebel against French colonialists by false miracles performed by their religious leaders. In 1856, the French government led by Napoleon 3rd sent Robert-Houdin there, hoping that he might perform tricks that were far more impressive, thereby dissolving the excitement of the rebels. Robert-Houdin's tricks, it is said, succeeded in breaking up the influence of the priests. Moreover, the Arabs became afraid of Robert-Houdin.

For one trick, he asked an Arab to shoot at him with a marked bullet, but instead of killing him, the bullet was found between his teeth. After that, they believed he could do anything. Robert-Houdin was not the first illusionist to perform the bullet catch and many since him have adapted their own version of the effect.
He used another famous trick to prove that French magic was stronger then local shamanism techniques: he presented an empty box with an iron bottom that anyone could lift up. By turning on an electro-magnet hidden under the floor, he made it immovable, "proving" that through will power, he could make it impossible to lift for the strongest Algerian warriors. He then claimed he could make the strong man too weak to lift a trunk that could be lifted by a small child.
Robert-Houdin home in Blois is open to the public as a museum and theatre called Maison de la Magie, opposite Chateau Blois. It is obvious he lived for magic, constantly conjuring new ideas and performing even on vacation. His wife was often involved in his extremely clever and innovative tricks, He admitted his tricks were 'deceptions' to authorities, in order to avoid prosecution for witchcraft.
About the Author
Corina Clemence runs Chateau du Guerinet, near Blois an exclusive luxury chateau for up to 15 people. http://www.loirechateau.com Rent a castle in France - Hire a french chateau
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 172
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources