The Queens Conjurer - the science and magic of Dr. John Dee, adviser to Queen Elizabeth I
by Woolley, Benjamin
pub. by Henry Holt and Co., NY - 2001 isbn 0805065091
320p. - some black and white pictures - biography
This is essentially a biography of John Dee, 1527 – 1608. He studied in England and in the Louvain in Paris. He became a good friend of the cartographer Gerardus Mercator. Dee was a serious astronomer - astrologer as well as chemist - alchemist. There was no distinction between these during the years of his life. Dee was involved with the English voyages of discovery as an adviser. He also dabbled heavily in the occult, particularly scrying. Scryers were spiritual mediums who gazed at crystal balls to consult with spirits. The scryver most associated with Dee was Edward Kelley. He and Dee worked together for years and late in their association Dee began to distrust Kelly, probably for good reason. Dee lived in England, ran afoul of the government under Queen Mary and was imprisoned, and talked his way out after an interview in the Star Chamber. Later he advised Queen Elizabeth I. He had audiences with Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II in Prague Castle and King Stefan Batory of Poland. After some time on mainland Europe he returned to England. Elizabeth I supported him but after she died James I had no use for Dee. He was cared for by his daughter until he died either in late 1608 or early 1609 at his home in Mortlake.
John Dee was a serious member of the intellegencia of his time. He dabbled in many things, some which would be considered very wierd today. His political dealings were also very interesting.
Read this book to get a feel of England and Europe during the Elizabethian period.
~ 2008 ~
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