Houdini was upset that the widow of Robert-Houdin did not want to meet him. As a revenge Harry Houdini wrote “The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin”, in which Houdini tries to push Robert-Houdin from his pedestal. He tries to show that most tricks Robert-Houdin claimed as his invention were infact not his invention and that Robert-Houdin was not this great magician he usually is thought he was. But most of Houdini’s alegations are fabricated and do not stand close inspection. Jean Hugard wrote as response to Houdini’s nasty book Houdini’s Unmasking, where Hugard point for point refutes Houdini’s argumentation.
I personally favor Hugard’s opinion, but you can now find out for yourself and get both books for a few bucks. In any case “The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin” is insofar very interesting as it shows a lot of images, clippings, and programs of well known magicians. It documents an interesting part of magic history.