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David Charvet and Mike Caveney have hit a homerun with this book. This book both gorgeous and very, very well researched.
This is the story of the Willard the Wizard Show which was performed by the father – Jim – and eventually his sons: Robert, Harry and Tommy. What makes this biographical project special is the contribution from Harry Willard’s three grown children, Eugene, Madeleine and Frances. They 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 Mike Caveney’s 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, they 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.