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The Chemistry of Alchemy
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Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 12:31 pm
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"A unique approach to the history of science using do-it-yourself experiments along with brief historical profiles to demonstrate how the ancient alchemists stumbled upon the science of chemistry."

http://www.amazon.com/The-Chemistry-Alchemy-Dragons-Donkey/dp/1616149159

Reviewed:
http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/chemistry-alchemy-dragons-blood-donkey-dung-how-chemistry-was-forged

Last edited on Mon Aug 4th, 2014 12:32 pm by Paul Ferguson

Alexander Guthrie Stewart
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 02:42 pm
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Hey, that's the book I'm writing!  How annoying. 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 02:44 pm
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Alexander Guthrie Stewart wrote:
Hey, that's the book I'm writing!  How annoying. 


That one's for kids. I think there's room for one for grown-ups.

Alexander Guthrie Stewart
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 03:07 pm
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Paul Ferguson wrote: Alexander Guthrie Stewart wrote:
Hey, that's the book I'm writing!  How annoying. 


That one's for kids. I think there's room for one for grown-ups.

Is it?  Oh good.  Mine's got more experiments and some toxic stuff, although in homage to the original authors I'm not laying them out like you would modern experiments, more instructions in prose. 
And some opportunities to hurt yourself. 
Those points aside, what would you expect in an alchemy book for grown ups?  More complex ideas, or discussion of the imagery to do with sex? 

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 03:22 pm
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Depends on how sophisticated your target audience is. Is the book aimed at chemistry-literate people or just the 'general reader'? How much equipment would people have to have and how much skill in using it?

Personally I would go for lots of historical context and lots of piccies and keep the science to garden-shed level, but that's just my turn of mind.

Definitely NO psychobabble, sexual or otherwise - just science.

Alexander Guthrie Stewart
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 Posted: Mon Aug 4th, 2014 05:03 pm
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Paul Ferguson wrote: Depends on how sophisticated your target audience is. Is the book aimed at chemistry-literate people or just the 'general reader'? How much equipment would people have to have and how much skill in using it?

Personally I would go for lots of historical context and lots of piccies and keep the science to garden-shed level, but that's just my turn of mind.

Definitely NO psychobabble, sexual or otherwise - just science.

Interested general public and older school children, so not many chemical equations and simple discussion of the chemistry.  No psychobabble, in fact it ends circa 1600 and I've decided to leave out Paracelsus and the newer stuff in that century. 

Edited to add - the chemistry discussed will hopefully be at the level someone who vaguely recalls some school chemistry will be familiar with, and nothing that a quick check online can't improve upon if you want to know more chemistry. 

Last edited on Mon Aug 4th, 2014 05:03 pm by Alexander Guthrie Stewart

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri Aug 22nd, 2014 01:32 pm
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Reviewed here:

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2014/08/chemistry-alchemy-cobb-fetterolf-goldwhite

http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20140815/AIK0401/140819594/magic-of-alchemy-ancient-chemistry-art-explored-in-new-book

Last edited on Fri Aug 22nd, 2014 01:33 pm by Paul Ferguson


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