Thesis ID: CBB461673774

Everyday Alchemy (2024)


"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.

Citation URI

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Book Jennifer M. Rampling; (2020)
The Experimental Fire: Inventing English Alchemy, 1300-1700 (/p/isis/citation/CBB983185229/) unapi

Book Elisabeth Berry Drago; (2019)
Painted Alchemists: Early Modern Artistry and Experiment in the Work of Thomas Wijck (/p/isis/citation/CBB848299484/) unapi

Book Newman, William Royall; (2006)
Atoms and Alchemy: Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution (/p/isis/citation/CBB000741087/) unapi

Book Claude Rosental; (2021)
The Demonstration Society (/p/isis/citation/CBB015160951/) unapi

Book Theodore Ziolkowski; (2015)
Alchemist in Literature: From Dante to the Present (/p/isis/citation/CBB915911039/) unapi

Thesis Rampling, J M; (cited 2010)
The Alchemy of George Ripley, 1470--1700 (/p/isis/citation/CBB001567236/) unapi

Book Mike A. Zuber; (2021)
Spiritual Alchemy: From Jacob Boehme to Mary Anne Atwood (/p/isis/citation/CBB053241027/) unapi

Book Thick, Malcolm; (2010)
Sir Hugh Plat: The Search for Useful Knowledge in Early Modern London (/p/isis/citation/CBB001201969/) unapi

Essay Review Hedesan, Georgiana; (2013)
Alchemy in Early Modern England (/p/isis/citation/CBB001566474/) unapi

Book Kesson, Andy; Smith, Emma; (2013)
The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England (/p/isis/citation/CBB001552902/) unapi

Thesis Daniel D. Lee; (2019)
Making Experience Literate: Poetry and New Science in Early Modern England (/p/isis/citation/CBB322645098/) unapi

Thesis Carr, Kevin Matthew; (2013)
A Theater of the Senses: A Cultural History of Theatrical Effects in Early-Modern England (/p/isis/citation/CBB001567443/) unapi

Article Anstey, Peter R.; (2014)
Philosophy of Experiment in Early Modern England: The Case of Bacon, Boyle and Hooke (/p/isis/citation/CBB001420209/) unapi

Book Leonardo Anatrini; Marco Ciardi; (2020)
La scienza impossibile: Percorsi dell'alchimia in Francia tra Ottocento e Novecento (/p/isis/citation/CBB111971964/) unapi

Article Telle, Joachim; (2010-2011)
Theophrastus von Hohenheim---Irrlehrer oder Leitgestalt einer Alternativmedizin des 21. Jahrhunderts? (/p/isis/citation/CBB001200388/) unapi

Article Cornelis J. (Kees-Jan) Schilt; (2016)
To Improve upon Hints of Things (/p/isis/citation/CBB767208359/) unapi

Article Pérez Pariente, Joaquín; (2010)
La alquimia y su relación con la ciencia (/p/isis/citation/CBB001201523/) unapi

Article Ducheyne, Steffen; (2007)
Algunas Notas Metodológicas sobre los Experimentos de Van Helmont (/p/isis/citation/CBB000850189/) unapi

Article Burnett, D. Graham; (1999)
The Cosmogonic Experiments of Robert Fludd: A Translation with Introduction and Commentary (/p/isis/citation/CBB000111565/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Anstey, Peter R.
Burnett, D. Graham
Ciardi, Marco
Ducheyne, Steffen
Hartung, Gerald
Hedesan, Georgiana D.
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
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
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Cambridge University
Amsterdam University Press
Carocci Editore
Experiments and experimentation
Science and literature
Science and religion
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Newton, Isaac
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Ripley, George
Bacon, Roger
Boehme, Jacob
Time Periods
Early modern
17th century
16th century
15th century
19th century
Great Britain
Theosophical Society

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment