Harry Lorraine and memory palace

Good afternoon, just wondering why didn’t Harry Lorraine include a memory palace in his memory techniques? Thank you


I have occasionally wondered the same thing.

He was a professional magician and stage entertainer. It is possibly he learned it that way and just stuck with what worked for him. At the same time, he may have preferred these methods because they were well adapted for his magic shows and stage performances.

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Maybe the memory palace was a new concept not used during his time? His linking method works well though a broken link is sometimes the problem.

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He was certainly aware of memory palaces, but he disapproved of them. He thought that the Link System and Peg Lists were far superior. The following quotes are from The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas.

Why, when the orators of ancient times could use their own homes as “loci” to remind themselves of the thoughts of a speech, did they search for other buildings to give them more “places”? It wasn’t that the same home or building couldn’t be used over and over again----could…
No, the problem was that the “home” loci became too familiar after a while----after all, a staircase is a staircase, and a foyer is a foyer. But an important memory principle simply never occurred to the ancient orators: It isn’t necessary to associate the thoughts of a speech, or anything else, to places----the thoughts may be associated to each other, so that one thought will remind you of the next thought.
That simple idea is the basis of the Link system of memory.

The Peg Words are an extension of the places or “loci” idea mentioned at the beginning of the book.

Lorayne’s preference of links over loci wasn’t unique for his time though. Most of the memory books that I’ve read from the 20th century (even before Lorayne was born) don’t mention memory palaces.


I think it depends on how one defines “memory palace”. Pegs serve the same purpose. And Lorayne wrote about pegs.

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Thank you for your insights, with all the techniques available on hand I have to decide which ones to use on a particular situation.

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I’ve studied Harry Lorayne’s memory system and read probably almost all if his books.

He never taught the Memory Palace because as the previous poster stated: you can associate things, people, etc via non memory palace ways.

However, he should have not stated that publicly.

The Memory Palace was used almost exclusively for thousands of years by memory masters before him with no real issues.


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Um this might seam silly but who is Harry Lorraine?


thank you

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It seems, though, that Lorayne was able to do all the memory feats that anyone else could do, and presumably did not use memory palaces, the mainstay of today.

That suggests that linking etc., as discussed in his books (The Memory Book being the fundamental one), is as good as memory palaces perhaps. It does make one wonder about the oft criticism regarding linking that if you forget one link in the chain then that’s the end of it.

Perhaps this criticism exists because maybe not very many people put in the kind of practice with linking etc., that Lorayne did. And that, with good images and effective linking (story etc.) , these methods may be as memorable as the loci method. With the added benefit that one doesn’t have to spend time finding/creating and learning new memory palaces.

In my personal experience, forgetting one link doesn’t ruin the whole chain for me. What happens more often is that I’ll skip a few links ahead.