Of interest to interdisciplinary historians as well as those in various other fields, this book presents the first publication of 14 poems ranging from 12 to 3,000 lines. The poems are printed in the chronological order of their composition, from Elizabethan to Augustan times, but nine of them are verse translations of works from earlier periods in the development of alchemy. Each has a textual and historical introduction and explanatory note by the Editor. Renaissance alchemy is acknowledged as an important element in the histories of early modern science and medicine. This book emphasises these poems’ expression of and shaping influence on religious, social and political values and institutions of their time too and is a useful reference work with much to offer for cultural studies and literary studies as well as science and history.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Bibliography Part 1: Elizabethan Versifying Alchemists 1. Edward Cradock – A Treatise Touching the Philosopher’s Stone (ca. 1575) 2. Simon Forman - Of the Division of the Chaos (ca. 1595) 3. Simon Forman – Compositor ad Lectorum (1597) Part 2: Three Verse Translations from Middle French by William Backhouse (1644) 4. Jean de La Fontaine – The Pleasant Founteine of Knowledge (1413) 5. The Complaint of Nature Against the Erronious Alchymist (ca. 1500) 6. The Alchymist’s Answere to Nature (ca. 1500) Part 3: Interregnum ‘Epic’: Chymical Medicine and Spiritual Alchemy 7. Bassett Jones – Lithochymicus (ca. 1650) Part 4: Six Anonymous Verse Translations (ca. 1700) 8. Mary the Prophetess – Epigram from her Practica 9. Dionysius Zacharias – The Practice of the Divine Work (1567) 10. Bernardus Trevisanus - The Practise of the Philosophick Stone (15th Century?) 11. Aristeus Pater – The Words of the Father Aristeus to his Son (ca. 1600) 12. Michael Sendivogius – The Philosophicall Ænigma 13. Michael Sendivogius - A Dialogue of the Allchymist and Sulphur (ca. 1610) Part 5: Hermetic Mysticism and Augustan Satire 14. "Torrescissa" - Hermetick Raptures (ca. 1700)