About the Author
A spate of books have appeared in France speculating on the identity of the master alchemist who published Les Demeures Philosophales (1930)under the pseudonym of Fulcanelli. They have not revealed Fulcanelli's identity; whomever Fulcanelli may have been, or be, he has succeeded in the alchemist's oath, to keep silent and to disappear after accomplishing the Great Work. There are tales, possibly apocryphal, of the OSS unsuccessfully searching for him in Paris after the war. Fulcanelli is aslo alleged to have met with one of France's atomic physicists in the late 30s and warned him about the dangers of unlocking atomic energy, suggesting it had been done before. Fulcanelli disappeared, leaving no traces, almost as if he had never existed. His pseudonym, Fulcanelli, is derived from Vulcan, classical god of fire, smithing, the working of metals, and artifice. Legend suggests that Fulcanelli is still alive, but what is not legend is his work, the magisterial expos! ition of the alchemical secrets encoded in medieval architecture and literature.