John Dee: Interdisciplinary Studies in English Renaissance Thought


Sold out

Springer, 2006. First Edition. Edited by Stephen Clucas. International Archives of The History of Ideas. Minor wear to jacket, small stains around title, shelf wear evident. A very good good near-fine copy internally. 

The career of the sixteenth-century English mathematician and natural philosopher John Dee (1527-1609) has played a significant role in recent historiographical debates about the relationship between magic and science in the early modern period. This collection of interdisciplinary essays, which addresses a wide range of Dee's diverse intellectual activities; including mathematics, astronomy, navigation, astrology, alchemy, cabala and "angel magic". Seeks to enlarge the scope of this debate, as well as presenting new archival and bibliographical discoveries relating to Dee and his collaborators and colleagues. The essays in the volume present new views on the nature of Dee's various projects, as well as the uses to which he put the books and manuscripts in his library at Mortlake; one of the largest private collections in Elizabethan England.

'An interdisciplinary colloquium was held so that scholars from diverse fields and areas of expertise could 1 exchange views on the life and work of John Dee. Working in a variety of fields – intellectual history, history of navigation, history of medicine, history of science, history of mathematics, bibliography and manuscript studies – we had all been drawn to Dee by particular aspects of his work, and participating in the colloquium was to c- front other narratives about Dee’s career: an experience which was both bewildering and instructive. Perhaps more than any other intellectual figure of the English Renaissance Dee has been fragmented and dispersed across numerous disciplines, and the various attempts to re-integrate his multiplied image by reference to a particular world-view or philosophical outlook have failed to bring him into focus. This volume records the diversity of scholarly approaches to John Dee which have emerged since the synthetic accounts of I. R. F. Calder, Frances Yates and Peter French. If these approaches have not succeeded in resolving the problematic multiplicity of Dee’s activities, they will at least deepen our understanding of specific and local areas of his intellectual life, and render them more historiographically legible.'

"John Dee has proved an endlessly fascinating subject for students of early modern thought almost from the moment of his death. This collection … is a welcome contribution to a burgeoning field. … the collection is marvellously meticulous, engaging and learned. No student of the Dee, sixteenth-century mathematics or early modern magic can afford to ignore it." (Adam Mosley, British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 41 (1), 2008.