The Queen's Conjurer

The Queen's Conjurer

The Science And Magic Of Dr. John Dee, Adviser To Queen Elizabeth I

Book - 2001
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A fascinating portrait of one of the most brilliant, complex, and colorful figures of the Renaissance.

Although his accomplishments were substantial - he became a trusted confidante to Queen Elizabeth I, inspired the formation of the British Empire, and plotted voyages to the New World-John Dee's story has been largely lost to history. Beyond the political sphere his intellectual pursuits ranged from the scientific to the occult. His mathematics anticipated Isaac Newton by nearly a century, while his mapmaking and navigation were critical to exploration. He was also obsessed with alchemy, astrology, and mysticism. His library was one of the finest in Europe, a vast compendium of thousands of volumes. Yet, despite his powerful position and prodigious intellect, Dee died in poverty and obscurity, reviled and pitied as a madman.

Benjamin Woolley tells the engrossing story of the rise and fall of this remarkable man, who wielded great influence during the pivotal era when the age of superstition collided with the new world of science and reason. Written with flair and vigor, based on numerous surviving diaries of the period, The Queen's Conjurer is a highly readable account of an extraordinary life.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805065091
Branch Call Number: B DEE
Characteristics: xii, 355 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,25 cm


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Apr 20, 2012

I gave this book high marks. It is well-written, thorough, and gives a good sense of the era that created a man like Dee. The sad part is when I became disillusioned about Dee because of his reliance on Edward Kelley, his scryer. I realized that much of Dee's occult fame belongs instead to Kelley's visions (from wherever those visions might have come) and in later life Dee just wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped. Disappointed, but happy to know better now.


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