Professor DeVilliers

Magician / 1900s




Magic Volume II / October 1901

"Evansoniana" by Henry Ridgley Evans

"I had a visit recently from Mr. Francois De Villiars, the accomplished illusionist whose headquarters are in New York City.
Mr. De Villiars devotes his energies mainly to the Lyceum Field and is very successful. His charming manners and pleasing
personality enhance the effect of his entertainments. De Villiars, of French extraction, has had a career full of romance
and adventure. He enlisted under the banner of Don Carlos and took part in some memorable battle of the Calist Insurrection.
Taken prisoner by the Spanish, he was condemned to be shot, but his life was saved by the intervention of the British Ambassador
to Madrid. De Villiars, lucky fellow, had served in a crack calvary regiment in India and at the time of the Spanish troubles
was still a citizen of the British Empire... But De Villiars is now a citizen of the United States. He is particularly clever
at the manipulation of billard balls, with a number of new movements up his sleeve and up his vest. Vive le Villiars!"


The Old and the New Magic by Henry Ridgely Evans

Open Court Publishing Company, 1909

"I come now to Francois De Villiars, the French illusionist, who is an excellent performer. He is able to invest the simplist
parlor trick with a halo of interest, thanks to his wit and bonhomie. He was born in the Island of Malta, where Cagliastro
went to work in the laboratory of the Grand Commander Pinto. De Villiars when but a callow youth ran away from the parental
home and joined a French circus which happened to be touring the Island of Malta. He wandered all over Europe with the knights
of the sawdust circle playing many parts, acrobat, clown, conjuror. Finally he took up magic as a profession.

De Villiars next drifted to India, where he became a subject of the British crown. Being of an adventurous nature, he joined
a calvary unit and wore the khaki of the Queen. When his term of enlistment had expired, he went to Spain and fought valiantly
under the banner of Don Carlos. Captured by the government forces, he was tried as a rebel and condemned to be shot, but his
sentence was commuted to banishment thanks to the timely intervention of the British Ambassador, to whom he had applied for aid.
De Villiars is now a naturalized citizen of the United States and his home is in New York City."


  • Keith's Theatre; Boston (1901)


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