Skip to main content
Whaley's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic 1584-2000
Staff publications, research, and presentations
  • Elizabeth McKeigue, Santa Clara University
Document Type
Book Review
Publication Date
Library Journals LLC

Whaley's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic contains nearly 4000 terms and phrases used in the performance and study of magic from 1584 (the year the first English-language book by a magician was published) to the present day. The quality of the content appears to be accurate, reliable. and thorough. For comparison's sake. I consulted the printed Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians, published by Facts On File in 1988. which defines the phruse "hocuspocus" as "a synonym for illusion created by trickery or deceit." Whaley's entry not only states three additional uses of this phrase but also cites the etymology from the Oxford English Dictionary and provides a number of quotations using this phrase in context, as well. The endnotes in all entries cite the sources of the content and often provide citations for further reading. The level of detail and research provided here is quite impressive.

Citation Information
McKeigue, E. "Whaley's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic 1584-2000." (Review) Library Journal 15 April 2001.