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The Salt of the Earth

Natural Philosophy, Medicine, and Chymistry in England, 1650-1750


Anna Marie Roos

Consisting of a series of case studies, this book is devoted to the concept and uses of salt in early modern science, which have played a crucial role in the evolution of matter theory from Aristotelian concepts of the elements to Newtonian chymistry. No reliable study on this subject has been previously available. Its exploration of natural history’s and medicine’s intersection with chemical investigation in early modern England demonstrates the growing importance of the senses and experience as causes of intellectual change from 1650-1750. It demonstrates that an understanding of the changing definitions of “salt” is also crucial to a historical comprehension of the transition between alchemy and chemistry.

Larry Stewart

larry stewart 392 SCIENCE, INSTRUMENTS, AND GUILDS IN EARLY- MODERN BRITAIN LARRY STEWART University of Saskatchewan Abstract The emergence of instrument-making trades in early-modern England tested the power of established guilds. From the seventeenth century, instrument makers were able to

Stephen Pender

inquiry; like rheto- ric, medicine reaches plausible conclusions from probable premises. Here, rang- ing from Hippocrates and Plato through Aristotle to early modern England, I argue that forms of inference developed and refined in the history of rhetoric offer ancient and early modern philosophers and


Edited by Robert E. Stillman

No volume about the spectacles and public performances of early modern England could pretend to treat comprehensively a body of materials so conspicuously vast. Rather than efforts to survey the territory, these essays are best understood in the original sense of the term as “essays”—as trials, attempts, experiments to open alternative ways of understanding that vast corpus of mystery plays, civic pageants, court masques and professional dramas that constitute its subject. The book crosses traditional period lines, including studies of Medieval as well as Renaissance entertainments. Once more, the essays are not organized according to a single critical or historical methodology. They employ an eclectic range of interpretive practices, reflecting the variety of interpretive approaches now current in the field.

Contributors include: Tiffany J. Alkan, Robert W. Barrett, Jr., Sarah Beckwith, Tom Bishop, Peter Cockett, Richard K. Emmerson, Peter Holland, Nora Johnson, Richard C. McCoy, Lauren Shohet, and Robert E. Stillman.

Verse and Transmutation

A Corpus of Middle English Alchemical Poetry (Critical Editions and Studies)


Anke Timmermann

Verse and Transmutation: A Corpus of Middle English Alchemical Poetry identifies and investigates a corpus of twenty-one anonymous recipes for the philosophers’ stone dating from the fifteenth century. These were circulated and received in association with each other until the mid-seventeenth century, when a number of them appeared in Elias Ashmole’s Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum.

These editions are the first to make this previously unidentified corpus available to researchers. The accompanying studies discover the complex histories of these alchemica, in plain and illuminated manuscripts, as anonyma and in attribution to famous authors, and in private and institutional, medical and academic book collections. Together, they offer novel insights into the role of alchemy and poetry in late medieval and early modern England.