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A Magical Upbringing: June Barrows Mussey

  • Collected Letters and Articles

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  • If I ask: "Do you know June Barrows Mussey?" I get a blank stare. If I continue: "you know Henry Hay?" then suddenly the response is: "Certainly. He wrote The Amateur Magician's Handbook."

    June Barrows Mussey, alias Henry Hay was a remarkable man who had a magical upbringing. Imagine, a boy of just 14 years old going on an international magic tour in the U.S. all by himself; a year later he went alone to Europe, the Dutch authorities made great trouble when he wanted to enter their country because they felt he was too young. His parents and particularly his mother supported his ambition and helped him with costumes, travel plans and the like. He always traveled with a typewriter because his parents wanted a letter every day. And he loved to write, he corresponded with one of the greatest magicians of all time T. Nelson Downs; later he became a friend and business partner of the great John Mulholland.

    A Magical Upbringing brings Henry Hay closer through his letters, early articles and unpublished photos, and articles about him. June Barrows Mussey has done so much for magic although very little is known about him. The publication fills the gap. And you will find the author was even more remarkable than the books he wrote. Magic was not his only hobby, he had a wide range of interests, wrote several New England books and anthologies, worked as business journalist and copy writer.

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