Thesis ID: CBB461673774

Everyday Alchemy (2024)

unapi

"Everyday Alchemy" travels to kitchens and stillrooms, paper mills and printhouses, gardens and beehives to consider how men and women in early modern England used animal, domestic, and artisanal practices to engage in alchemical speculation and experimentation. Examining texts across genres and media, I demonstrate that textual use and production was central to this alchemical speculation and experimentation. Following Paracelsus's promotion of alchemical approaches to medicine, alchemical theories and practices proliferated in English manuscript and print. Vernacular print texts shared alchemical knowledge and advocated for the epistemic value of experience. Readers and compilers assessed, tested, revised, and distilled what they read, incorporating alchemical knowledge into early modern household science, especially household physic. The first two chapters, "Reading" and "Writing," trace alchemical knowledge across print and manuscript to show how different early modern people used and repurposed what they read. The third chapter and coda, "Paper" and "Ink," explore how even the material text was inflected with alchemical wonder. Ultimately, examining alchemical knowledge within a variety of textual genres and media illuminates that early modern alchemy was not exclusive to eccentrics or elites. Instead, alchemical texts could be popular, printed, and vernacular; alchemical practices could be domestic and routine; and alchemical practitioners were diverse in their beliefs, practices, and identities.

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Authors & Contributors
Anstey, Peter R.
Burnett, D. Graham
Ciardi, Marco
Ducheyne, Steffen
Hartung, Gerald
Hedesan, Georgiana D.
Journals
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Abaco
Azogue: Revista Electrónica Dedicada al Estudio Histórico-Crítico de la Alquimia
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Nova Acta Paracelsica: Jahrbuch der Schweizerischen Paracelsus-Gesellschaft
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Publishers
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Cambridge University
Amsterdam University Press
Ashgate
Carocci Editore
Concepts
Alchemy
Experiments and experimentation
Chemistry
Popularization
Science and literature
Science and religion
People
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Newton, Isaac
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Ripley, George
Bacon, Roger
Boehme, Jacob
Time Periods
Early modern
17th century
Modern
16th century
15th century
19th century
Places
England
France
Germany
Brazil
Great Britain
Italy
Institutions
Theosophical Society
Comments

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