Dante the Devil Himself

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P. Temple, 1991 - Magicians - 271 pages

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Dante - The Devil Himself is the definitive biography of the last of America's master magicians from the "Golden Age of Magic". Using material from the Jansen Family archives, Phil Temple has written an informative literary portrait of this legendary performer. Dante's trials and tribulations of going from "rags to riches" in the world of entertainment are well documented with original photographs and full color, lithographed posters. At the time of his death he had created a world tour record unequaled by any other magician before him, playing to "standing room only" crowds in theaters around the globe. Onstage, Dante presented the ultimate magical personality of the times. Offstage, his daughter Mary once said, "People had no idea of just how difficult he could be." With the advent of television, live theatrical productions on the American stage declined, and like many others, Dante retired. Late in life he advertised the sale of his show props for sale in Genii Magazine, a well known trade publication, and at the time of his death was working with a magician in an "attempt to create an A-1, first class magician." Dante died before the task was completed, and he left no successor (contrary to claims elsewhere on the internet). In fact, there was nothing to succeed, as Dante had been off the road for years and magic was basically dead in America. With dozens of personal and "show-in-action" photos, the book presents a uniquely documented and well illustrated look on the life of one of the world's magical greats. To quote one published reviewer, "Is in the top 40 books on magic ever written."
Reportedly, the book "sold out" within 6 months of its release in 1991.

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