The Discouerie of Magic

Boing Boing linked to some articles about the original book of magic tricks, Hocus Pocus Junior, (1634). Hocus Pocus Junior was actually a remix of parts of Reginald Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), published 50 years earlier to debunk all sorts of magic.

The Discouerie of Witchcraft is available in a beautifully scanned copy of an 1886 reprint. Google search will lead you to a scan of the Dover reprint of a 1930's edition which is 400 pages shorter, not free, and likely doesn't contain the appended prefatory material, either, but I can't tell because the preview scan omits most of the book.

Not only is this the first skeptickal book debunking magic and the source of the first book on slight of hand magic, but, according to the Wikipedia article, it is probably the source for most of the Grimoire's of magic published, too. That is, all the books which have claimed to really be about real magic likely derive from this Elizabethan manual on why magic is a load of woo.

The discouerie
of witchcraft,
Wherein the lewde dealing of witches
and witchmongers is notablie detected, the
knauerie of coniurors, the impietie of inchan-
tors, the follie of soothsaiers, the impudent fals-
hood of cousenors, the infidelitie of atheists,
the pestilent practises of Pythonists, the
curiositie of figurecasters, the va-
nitie of dreamers, the begger-
lie art of Alcu-

The abhomination of idolatrie, the hor-
rible art of poisoning, the vertue and power of
naturall magike, and all the conueiances
of Legierdemaine and iuggling are deciphered:
and many other things opened, which
haue long lien hidden, howbeit
verie necessarie to
be knowne.

Heerunto is added a treatise vpon the
nature and substance of spirits and diuels,
&c: all latelie written
by Reginald Scot

I. Iohn. 4, 1.
Beleeve not euerie spirit, but trie the spirits, whether they are
of God; for manie false prophets are gone
out into the world, &c.