Laurant: Man of Many Mysteries Hardcover – May 31, 2005 by Gabe Fajuri
This book allows you a rare opportunity: to look over the shoulder of Eugene Laurant, one of the most popular, polished and successful entertainers of his day. Laurant Man of Many Mysteries is a biography full of show-biz stories, Wild West adventure, and mystery. In 1896, Eugene Laurant became a professional magician. 21 years earlier, as Eugene Greenleaf, he was born on the frontier, in the horse and buggy town that was Denver, Colorado. Billed as the "Man of Many Mysteries," Laurant spent almost 50 seasons on tour. His stage-filling magic show brought wonder and delight to millions of spectators across North America. The bulk of Laurant's career was spent not in major metropolitan centers, or hustling, bustling cities like New York. Unlike his contemporaries - Houdini among them - Laurant, for the most part, confined his routes to rural America. It was there that he made his mark. Eugene Laurant was, arguably, king of the small town showmen. Laurant carried a full compliment of assistants, livestock, baggage and thousands of pounds of equipment-the tools of mystery making-over the rough-and-tumble back roads of America. He logged millions of miles on the road. His greatest successes were made on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits, which enjoyed immense popularity between 1900 and 1920. During those years, Laurant headlined for the most prominent organization in the business, the Redpath Bureau. Drawing on Laurant's own unpublished writings, scrapbooks, and new research, this book paints a revealing and complete portrait of this early American magician. From his earliest dime-museum days, to Wild West adventure, vaudeville shows and much more, Laurant Man of Many Mysteries tells the tale.