The Tree of Learning

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The Tree of Learning was written by the late-Argentine magician Gregory Absalom. Its most famous passage - the subject of much learned conjecture among theoretical magicians for many years - concerns a visit made by Dr. Pale to the fairy prince Cold Henry, and a conversation between the two of them, apparently at cross purposes: Cold Henry appears to be making an apologetic speech deprecating the natural wickedness of his race, to which Pale makes the enigmatic answer that not all Englishmen have the same size feet. A great many theories were advanced to interpret this strange passage, the most generally satisfactory explanation being offered by William Pantler, who believed it to have a theological basis. Later, John Segundus discovered a wholly different explanation in the Instructions of Jacques Belasis. The Aureate magician Ralph Stokesey had also visited Cold Henry some centuries before and negligently left behind him a pair of his boots. Over the years Cold Henry had developed a guilty dread of being held responsible for the loss of this footwear, and in hope of evading retribution had tried to shuffle them off on Pale, who very understandably declined them.

The Tree of Learning also formed the basis of a spurious and fraudulent book purporting to be an edition of Jonathan Strange's lost The History and Practice of English Magic. It was published in 1816 by the egregious Titus Watkins[51].