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Alchemy and madness
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Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Sat Jan 31st, 2009 10:04 am
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Hello all, once again I beg for illumination!

Does anybody know of any studies that discuss alchemy and madness/ mental illness? With all those fumes and flasks and things, I am sure somebody, somewhere, has written something on the topic!

I am not really talking about books like 'Extraordinary popular delusions', nor Andreas Libavius' fulminations against spiritually ill practitioners (both product of their own contemporary orthodoxies), but something a little more substantial..

I would be most grateful for any hints and Hinweise!

Vale feliciter, Leigh

 

 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Feb 1st, 2009 01:51 am
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Hi Leigh,

Well Newton and Rudolf II are the most famous examples I guess. Try Dr. Harold Klawans' book Newton's Madness:

http://www.amazon.com/Newtons-Madness-Further-Clinical-Neurology/dp/0060162562

and Peter Marshall's 'Magic Circle':

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Circle-Rudolf-Astrology-Renaissance/dp/B001G7RAEU

The bibliographies in there may help.

And doesn't Ben Jonson mention 'alchemical madness' in 'The Alchemist'? I'm sure there must be some relevant studies,

P

Last edited on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 02:40 am by Paul Ferguson

Alan Pritchard
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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 03:13 pm
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Here is an extract from my bibliography - searching titles and descriptions for the strings *madn* or *nsan*

Probably a lot of rubbish, but I hope you may find some gold amongst the dross!

Attachment: madness.zip (Downloaded 1005 times)

Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Sat Feb 7th, 2009 03:33 am
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Thanks all, Evans does indeed have some poignant insights, as does Pete Forshaw's article! Thanks once again!


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