Valentine Munday

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Valentine Munday was a magio-historian. Of a naturally sceptical temper, in 1698 he published The Blue Book: being an attempt to expose the most prevalent lies and common deceptions practised by English magicians upon the King's subjects and upon each other in which he claims that the Other Lands do not exist. Gilbert Norrell asserts that this claim is incorrect: nevertheless, he approves Munday's position in general, and wishes more people could be persuaded to share his views. ( Munday's Blue Book is the first work Mr. Norrell recommends to Jonathan Strange after accepting him as his pupil.)

Having denied the existence the Other Lands, Munday began believing that various places on Earth also did not exist. By the time of his death, he had rejected America, France, Scotland and "was beginning to entertain doubts of Carlisle" [25].


Dowsing as practiced today may have originated in Germany during the 15th century, when it was used in attempts to find metals. The 1550 edition of Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia contains a woodcut of a dowser with forked rod in hand walking over a cutaway image of a mining operation. The rod is labelled "Virgula Divina – Glück rüt" (Latin: divine rod; German "Wünschelrute": fortune rod or stick), but there is no text accompanying the woodcut. By 1556 Georgius Agricola's treatment of mining and smelting of ore, De Re Metallica, included a detailed description of dowsing for metal ore.