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I’m very proud to have “Ionia – Magician Princess Secrets Unlocked” in my International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts. Charles combined his expert knowledge of magic posters with two decades of passionate pursuit to reveal Ionia’s complete story. In this beautifully designed book, Charles tells the long overdue history of one of magic’s great illusionists, Ionia - Queen of Mystery. This book is important as it increases the long overdue visibility and status of women in magic.
Charles Greene has written an imaginative, unbelievable story about a beautiful music hall magician, famous wizards, a performing bear, spies, disappearing people, handsome suitors, and an elegant, mysterious European princess. The best part is that it all really happened. The tale of Ionia is one of the glories of magic history, a story so incredible that—as Charles so skillfully demonstrates—it had to be true. It’s a great book, full of surprises.
Collecting all of this data on Ionia is like having a thousand puzzle pieces in a box. Until you put the pieces together, you really have no idea what the picture looks like. And now, at long last, after years of rearranging those puzzle pieces, they finally make sense, Charles has presented us all with a gift.
Glen David Gold
For over a hundred years, all we knew of Ionia came from the gorgeous two-dimensional posters of her at work. Now Charles Greene III adds a remarkable and thoroughly unexpected third dimension by finally unveiling her tumultuous, globe-trotting life. Greene has deciphered her multiple transformations from daughter in a huge family of colorful performers to working magician (and bear tamer!) to Russian princess to Paris salon doyenne to - well - an enigma almost lost to time. It's a terrific act of detective work, a spectacular act of production.
Charles Greene III presents the curious world of Belgian-born magician Clementine de Vere in this debut biography, an intriguing chronicle of an inventive and talented enchantress’ life. The book is appealingly replete with photographs of amazing artifacts related to the illusionist and her family. The biography reads smoothly and includes many lists of dates and events. The book also includes a list of both historical and contemporary female magicians and even instructions on how to perform a card trick.
Just when I thought I was one of the first female magicians, Charles' book makes a lost chapter of magic history reappear! The story of Ionia, a female illusionist, is both entertaining and engaging. A woman who in 1910 levitated herself above raging sexism -- literally -- to carve out a career as a magician at a time when women were just assistants or wives. Thank you Charles for not letting Ionia's compelling story vanish.
Ionia Magician Princess Secrets Unlocked brings together rare programs, tour plans, unique photographs, archived Russian, Belgian and Russian, Belgian and American government documents and all known posters of lonia. The book is exciting and entertaining, with about 180 illustrations. Conclusion: A wonderful, exciting, well researched biography about an extraordinary magician in a beautiful book form. Highly recommended.
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