Gehennical Fire by William R. Newman
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Gehennical Fire
By William R. Newman

Gehennical Fire

The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution

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Format: Hardback

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Gehennical Fire by William R. Newman

Book Description

Reputed to have performed miraculous feats in New England--restoring the hair and teeth to an aged lady, bringing a withered peach tree to fruit--Eirenaeus Philalethes was also rumored to be an adept possessor of the alchemical philosophers' stone. That the man was merely a mythical creation didn't diminish his reputation a whit--his writings were spectacularly successful, read by Leibniz, esteemed by Newton and Boyle, voraciously consumed by countless readers. Gehennical Fire is the story of the man behind the myth, George Starkey. Though virtually unknown today and little noted in history, Starkey was America's most widely read and celebrated scientist before Benjamin Franklin. Born in Bermuda, he received his A.B. from Harvard in 1646 and four years later emigrated to London, where he quickly gained prominence as a chymist. Thanks in large part to the scholarly detective work of William Newman, we now know that this is only a small part of an extraordinary story, that in fact George Starkey led two lives. Not content simply to publish his alchemical works under the name Eirenaeus Philalethes, A Peaceful Lover of Truth, Starkey spread elaborate tales about his alter ego, in effect giving him a life of his own.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674341715
ISBN-10: 0674341716
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 26mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 31-Jan-1995
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author William R. Newman

Osiris by William R. Newman Osiris, Paperback (May 2015)

The last twenty-five years have witnessed some provocative transmutations in our understanding of early modern chemistry. This book offers a collection of essays that builds on these reappraisals and excavates the affinities between alchemy, chymistry, and chemistry from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

Artificial and the Natural by William R. Newman Artificial and the Natural, Hardback (December 2007)

Notions of nature and art as they have been defined and redefined in Western culture, from the Hippocratic writers and Aristotle of Ancient Greece to nineteenth-century chemistry and twenty-first century biomimetics.

Atoms and Alchemy by William R. Newman Atoms and Alchemy, Paperback (June 2006)

Since the Enlightenment, alchemy has been viewed as a sort of antiscience, disparaged by many historians as a form of lunacy that impeded the development of rational chemistry. This title exposes the speciousness of these views and challenges widely held beliefs about the origins of the Scientific Revolution.

Secrets of Nature by William R. Newman Secrets of Nature, Paperback (February 2006)

A fresh look at the role of astrology and alchemy in Renaissance thinking and everyday life.

» View all books by William R. Newman

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Recent books by William R. Newman close
Osiris by William R. Newman
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