A Peek Inside a 17th-Century Guide to Magic Tricks

The title is a mouthful: Hocus Pocus Junior The anatomy of legerdemain. Or, The art of iugling set forth in his proper colours, fully, plainly, and exactly; so that an ignorant person may thereby learn the full perfection of the same, after a little practise.

The publication date is 1634. Although it's the earliest book devoted to magic as a performing art, it apparently takes its text almost exactly from a 1584 book called The Discoverie of Witchcraft. The Witchcraft book was meant to be a debunking text, proving to people that witches didn't exist and, thus, that we shouldn't go about condemning other people for witchcraft. Hocus Pocus Junior took the chapters on sleight of hand and slightly (heh) reworked them as an instructional manual.

Comparing Hocus Pocus Junior and the Discoverie of Witchcraft at Early Modern Whale.
Two Posts on the History of Hocus Pocus Junior from Bookride.com

Thanks to Holly Tucker!

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