370 pages 11 x 8.5 inches, Lavishly illustrated with 276 photographs, and 8 pages in full color. Limited to 1,000 numbered copies. Published 2008, Number 14 in our series of Magical Pro-Files.
Even before our expanded edition of Alexander: The Man Who Knows came out in 2007, David Charvet had started work on a biography of Willard the Willard. Considering we had the full cooperation of Harry Willard’s three grown children, Eugene, Madeline and Frances, it seemed like a straight-forward project.
That project turned into an odyssey. The story of the four men who performed under the name Willard the Wizard reads like a roller coaster ride made up of triumphant highs and tragic lows. If you think you know the Willard story because you read David Charvet’s recent cover story in Magic magazine, you don’t know the half of it.
Normally, to write a biography for our series of Magical Pro-Files, the author relies on old magazines, newspapers, letters, scrapbooks, photographs etc. to tell the story. We use those sources because that’s all we’ve got. But Eugene, Madeline and Frances spent many years during their youth traveling with and performing in their father’s show. Now we have access to not only what the audience saw on stage at the Harry Willard show, we also know what was happening backstage as well. Here is the ultimate behind the scenes story of a traveling tent show as told by those who lived it. Combining these firsthand accounts with David Charvet’s relentless research has produced a unique slice of magic history.
WILLARD – A LIFE UNDER CANVAS is number 14 in our series of Magical Pro-Files. The book is 8.5 inches tall and 11 inches wide, hardbound on the short side. It contains 370 pages with 276 photographs and because the entire book has been printed in two colors, we were able to print many of the photos in duotone, giving them the feel of a hot, dusty tent show. Eight pages of full color show Willard in action along with some beautiful portraits of his well-worn apparatus.
The tent-show feel continues with the printed endsheets and onto the binding with a canvas cloth on the front and back covers and Skivertex simulated leather on the spine. This edition is limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies.