Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Library Journals LLC


Whaley's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic contains nearly 4000 terms and phrases used in the performance and study of magic from 1584 (the year the first English-language book by a magician was published) to the present day. The quality of the content appears to be accurate, reliable. and thorough. For comparison's sake. I consulted the printed Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians, published by Facts On File in 1988. which defines the phruse "hocuspocus" as "a synonym for illusion created by trickery or deceit." Whaley's entry not only states three additional uses of this phrase but also cites the etymology from the Oxford English Dictionary and provides a number of quotations using this phrase in context, as well. The endnotes in all entries cite the sources of the content and often provide citations for further reading. The level of detail and research provided here is quite impressive.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.