About a year ago, via eBay, I acquired a copy of the November 1919 issue of M-U-M, the journal of the Society of American Magicians. I believe that issue is quite a scarce item — based on something a fellow-collector said to me, and upon my own experiences. The front page bears an article by Houdini regarding Professor Hoffmann. It was printed shortly before Hoffmann passed away in December 1919.
The main title of the article is “Professor Hoffmann.” Then it says, in small print, “(Angelo Lewis, M.A.)”
Then there is a subtitle that reads as follows: “The brightest star in the firmament of magical literature.”
That phrase (generally capitalized something lile a book title), attributed to Houdini, has been used many times to describe Hoffmann. It always seemed strangely out-of-context whever I saw it. When I saw the article, though, it seemed almost certain that it was the source of the quotation.
I’ll post a scan in my next post.