The educational progress of Strange's pupils was somewhat retarded by his restless, unfixed disposition and altogether interrupted when he decided to travel. Nevertheless the three remained fiercely loyal to their tutor. When Gilbert Norrell caused the words of Strange's The History and Practice of English Magic to vanish from the pages of the book, Purfois, Hadley-Bright and Levy were swift to protest and to cast about for ways to counter his action. Unfortunately none of their suggestions was practicable - Purfois and Hadley-Bright wished to challenge Norrell to a duel, or to implement a spell of Martin Pale's which was beyond their abilities. Levy's idea of using Walter de Chepe's Prophylaxis was the most effectual, but that too carried a danger that it might rebound upon them. In the end they did nothing - which was perhaps the wisest course.
Tom Levy must not be confounded with Eliphas Levi, the French occult author and ceremonial magician.
Levi's first treatise on magic appeared in 1854 under the title "Dogme de la Haute Magie", followed in 1856 by the companion "Ritual de la Haute Magie". The two books were later combined into one book titled Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, which was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual in 1910. Its famous opening lines present the single essential theme of Occultism and gives some of the flavor of its atmosphere:
- Behind the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvelous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the ceremonies practised at reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed. (Introduction)