No living person has seen the earliest films of pioneering cinema magician, Georges Méliès. All that remain are his catalogs and a few archival images. The 2013 discovery of a flip book manufactured by an obscure Parisian bimbelotier, Léon Beaulieu, promised a glimpse of an unseen Méliès film. This idea inspired years of investigation by researcher Thierry Lecointe – a trail that led him to collector and historian Pascal Fouché and his amazing collection of more than 10,000 flip books, including 27 produced by the mysterious Beaulieu. The conclusions of Lecointe's ground- breaking research are astonishing. Léon Beaulieu's primitive flip books were comprised of images appropriated from early films, many of them lost treasures. Early films by Méliès, but also Gaumont, Skladanowsky and Pathé suddenly came to life after more than a century! This meticulously researched volume reveals how these miraculous discoveries were made and features more than 500 previously unpublished images that you won't have seen anywhere else.
This astonishing book is the product of remarkable collaborative scholarship, lucid inter- pretation of evidence, and an incredibly lucky discovery. It is also a tribute to the pub- lisher who had the bravery and intellectual resources to deal with multiple authors, texts in English and French, a myriad of photographs, and two silent film festivals con- tinents apart.~David Mayer - University of Manchester, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film