Tag Archives: alchemist


Sorcerer: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth’s Alchemist by Geoffrey James, from Grand Mal Press, arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of the author.

Geoffrey James' Sorcerer from Grand Mal Press


“Based on actual diaries and historical accounts, Sorcerer: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth’s Alchemist breaks the barrier between fantasy and historical fiction, recreating a long-hidden real-life world of death, sex, politics and ritual magic.

The year is 1584. John Dee, the greatest scholar of his age, has turned from reputable science to forbidden magic. In partnership with a visionary rogue, an ex-nun and a court beauty, he’s flees across Europe, dogged by the Inquisition and a relentless assassin.

Finally, Dee’s magic seems to yield fruit. Angels (or are they demons?) promise to reveal the secret of transmuting lead into gold. There is only one hitch: Dee and his companions must first commit an unforgivable sin.” [via]



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Nicolas Flamel et le cimetière des Innocents


“Au cours de cette sixième étape du ‘Voyage Alchimique’, nous pénétrons avec Patrick Burensteinas, alchimiste et scientifique, au sein du mystérieux laboratoire où doit se former la fameuse Pierre Philosophale. Pour nous aider à en percer les secrets, Nicolas Flamel, célèbre alchimiste parisien du Moyen Age, aurait figuré l’essentiel des opérations du Grand Oeuvre sous une arcade du cimetière des Innocents à Paris, mais elle a été détruite au XVIII° siècle, avec tout le cimetière. Nous la reconstituons ici grâce aux nombreux témoignages qui l’ont décrite.”


“Nicolas Flamel and the Cemetery of the Innocents

In the sixth stage of the Alchemical Voyage, with Patrick Burensteinas, alchemist and scientist, we enter into the mysterious laboratory where the Philosophers Stone has to be made. To help us to perceive its secrets, Nicolas Flamel, a famous Parisian alchemist from the middle age, would have mainly figured out the process of the Great Work under the arch of the Innocents cemetery in Paris. It was destroyed in the 18th century, with the entire cemetery. Thanks to many testimonials, we will make this arch alive again.”

Sir Isaac Newton’s own annotated Principia Mathematica goes online

Sir Isaac Newton’s own annotated Principia Mathematica goes online” is a new article by Stephen Bates point out that Cambridge is “putting the papers of Sir Isaac Newton online for the first time, including his own annotated copy of his greatest work, Principia Mathematica, with notes and calculations in his handwriting revising the book and answering critics.” With recent news of the online presentation of the Voynich manuscript by Yale, and other similar bits of news, this is seems like a timely addition. Even if it doesn’t strictly seem Hermetic Library subject matter, let’s remember that Isaac Newton was an alchemist.


Photograph: Cambridge University Library/PA


“So far, more than 4,000 pages, about 20% of the university’s Newton archive, have been put into digital form as part of a programme that will eventually give the public access to the papers of other famous scientists, ranging from Darwin to Ernest Rutherford. Included in the papers are the handwritten notes made after Newton’s death, in 1727, by his colleague Thomas Pellet, who was asked by relatives of the great scientist to examine the papers with a view to publication.” [via]

“Grant Young, the university library’s digitisation manager, said: ‘You can see Newton’s mind at work in the calculations and how his thinking was developing. His copy of the Principia contains pages interleaved with the printed text with his notes.

‘The book has suffered much, pages are badly burned or water-stained, so it is very delicate and rarely put on show. Before today anyone who wanted to see these things had to come to Cambridge and get permission to see them, but we are now bringing Cambridge University library to the world at the click of a mouse.'” [via]