Houdini & Conan Doyle, Hardback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


How two famous friends became bitter enemies in a battle over life, death - and the afterlife.

In the early 20th century, in the English-speaking world, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini were two of the most feted and famous men alive. And their relationship is extraordinary: As strange as it may seem Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the ultra-rational detective Sherlock Holmes, was a believer in Spiritualism.

He came to his belief, that one could communicate with the dead, after his son was killed in World War I, and became an expert in the field.

Harry Houdini, the world's foremost magician, was a friend of Conan Doyle's, but was sceptical of his belief in the supernatural.

Houdini took every opportunity to use his knowledge of illusion to expose psychics who he thought were fakes, particularly incensed by their exploitation of grief and insecurity.

Based on original research, this sensational duel biography of two popular geniuses conjures up the early 20th century and the fame, personality and competing beliefs.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Conjuring & magic
  • ISBN: 9780715641460

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An interesting & mostly readable account of the relationship between two similar, but different, individuals who took different sides (eventually) in the spiritualist debates of the 1920's. Infused with a certain melancholy, it makes for interesting reading, if the writing style does seem to lack pathos. Readable, & enjoyable. Probably better for the interested reader.

Review by

This is a readable enough book about two extremely interesting and diverse personalities. Little new information is presented here although anything about Houdini and Sir Arthur is worth reading.The 1933 volume by Bernard M.L.Ernst and Hereward Carrington "Houdini and Conan Doyle : The story of a strange friendship' is a worthy predecessor to the the book,and in many ways is to be preferred.

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