If you read the standard history of magic, you learn that it begins in ancient Egypt, with the resurrection of a goose before the Pharaoh. You discover how magicians were tortured and killed during the age of witchcraft. You hear colorful tales of conjurors who used their unique skills to deceive the enemy in war. The history of magic is full of such stories, which turn out not to be true. Behind the smoke and mirrors, however, lies the real story of magic.
It is a history of people from humble roots, who made and lost fortunes, and who deceived kings and queens. In order to survive, they concealed many secrets, yet they revealed some and they stole others. They exposed the methods of mediums and psychics. They engaged in deception, exposure, and betrayal, in a quest to make the impossible happen.
An ongoing series of technological wonders appeared, which previous generations would have considered magical. And yet in a world in which the most sophisticated technology is now taken for granted, we can still be astonished by tricks that were performed hundreds of years ago. The Secret History of Magic reveals what really happened, and how it was done. It is about why this matters in a world that no longer seems to have a place for magic, but which desperately needs a sense of wonder.