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Gehennical Fire

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

Both the quest for natural knowledge and the aspiration to alchemical wisdom played crucial roles in the Scientific Revolution, as William R. Newman demonstrates in this fascinating book about George Starkey (1628-1665), America’s first famous scientist. Beginning with Starkey’s unusual education in colonial New England, Newman traces out his many interconnected careers—natural philosopher, alchemist, chemist, medical practitioner, economic projector, and creator of the fabulous adept, "Eirenaeus Philalethes." Newman reveals the profound impact Starkey had on the work of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Samuel Hartlib, and other key thinkers in the realm of early modern science.

390 pages | 20 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1994, 2002


History: American History, History of Ideas

History of Science

Table of Contents

A Note on Terminology
Foreword, 2002
1 Starkey in America
2 Arcan Maiora: The Hartlib Years (1650-1654)
3 The Background to Starkey’s Chymistry
4 Revelation and Concealment: The Writings of Philaleths
5 A Sonne of Contention: 1655-1665
6 Philalethes in Context
7 Isaac Newton and Eirenaeus Philalethes
Appendix IStarkey’s Addresses in England, 1650-1665
Appendix IIAn Autobiographical Note by George Starkey
Appendix IIIMissing Starkey Manuscripts
Appendix IVRobert Boyle’s "Excuses of Philaletha"
Appendix VA Bibliography of Starkey’s Writings

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