Tag Archives: queen elizabeth

Sorcerer

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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A Comprehensive Guide to the Illuminati, the Conspiracy Theory That Connects Jay-Z and Queen Elizabeth

A Comprehensive Guide to the Illuminati, the Conspiracy Theory That Connects Jay-Z and Queen Elizabeth” is an amusing little initiation for the perplexed into recent and ongoing apoplectic apophenia about Illuminati and so forth by Max Read over at Gawker.

“Why did Jay-Z and Beyoncé name their kid ‘Blue Ivy’? What was the deal with Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show? Why did Whitney Houston die? Some people might say that ‘famous people are weird and sad’ is the answer to all three questions. But no, the answer is: The Illuminati. Who? Allow us to explain.

Note: to best service our readers, we’ve divided this guide into two sections — first, the believer’s guide; second, the skeptic’s guide.”

The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee, By Glyn Parry

The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee, By Glyn Parry” is a book review by Ronald Hutton of a new biography of John Dee, due to release in the states in April, from Yale University Press. (HT @t3dy)

“One of the most colourful and least respectable figures of the European Renaissance was the magus, a scholar, expert in the hidden wisdom of the created world, who sought the power to manipulate it to the advantage of (depending on his degree of probity) himself, his employers or humanity.

The most familiar such character in fiction is of course Dr Faustus, but the best known in real life is John Dee, a Londoner of Welsh blood who haunted the English and other royal courts throughout the late 16th century.

Much has been written about him in modern times, though little has been produced by experts in his period. To most historians he represents a tragic waste of talent; a brilliant scientist who was diverted into a fruitless attempt to converse with angels, thereby ruining his career and reputation and falling prey to the demented or unscrupulous adventurers who posed as his mediums: above all Edward Kelley, who combined both characteristics and, at one point, even persuaded Dee to swap wives with him under angelic instruction. Modern ritual magicians, by contrast, have seen Dee as a hero who discovered an occult system of genuine validity.

But in Glyn Parry, he has at last attracted a biographer with a talent for uncovering fresh archival material, who has conducted thorough research both into his life and the circles in which he moved.

The basic argument of the resulting book is that Dee was not an anomalous figure at the court of Queen Elizabeth, because that monarch and her leading courtiers – like their counterparts on the Continent – were deeply interested in the occult arts and sciences and were prepared to invest large sums in practitioners who promised material gains from them. As a result, they tapped into an underworld of alchemists and ritual magicians who became tangled up in turn with royal policy-making, political rivalry, and conspiracy.” [via]