Eighteen Wonders to be found in the House of Albion

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Eighteen Wonders to be found in the House of Albion is the title of the only extant work by the 16th century Argentine magician Francis Pevensey, a respected follower of Martin Pale.

Little about Pevensey is known for certain - not even his sex, which was first called into question in 1794 after a number of previously unknown letters by Pale were found in the library of a gentleman named Mr Whittlesea in Stamford, Lincolnshire. They proved to be addressed to Pevensey and their discovery caused a great stir. Alas for the hopes of scholars! too soon it was clear that they were not letters about matters of magic at all, but love letters. They were very warm in tone and the world of magical scholarship was at a loss to explain them. They were forced to conclude that Pale had either formed an attachment to the wife, or perhaps the sister, of the magician Pevensey, who by some freak of chance had the same name; or that Pevensey the magician was a woman! (Fortunately details of the letters showed beyond doubt a third possibility, that Pale had been carrying on a romantic correspondence with a Mr Pevensey, was quite out of the question.) The matter was settled for most unbiased minds when Charles Hether-Gray used extracts from the letters to show plainly that the author of the book and the object of Pale's affections were one and the same person.

The book and these unhappy letters between them however nearly became the cause of a regrettable rupture between Mr Whittlesea and the magio-historian William Pantler. Pantler, unable to accept that a sound magician might be a female, argued the letters must therefore be forgeries; and not only must they be forgeries, but Mrs Whittlesea, an authoress of plays, must have concocted them. So great was Mr Whittlesea's resentment of this attack upon his wife's good name that he challenged Pantler to a duel; fortunately, on the latter making submission the intended combat was never fought[35].