Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789141443 Published October 2019 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Paracelsus

An Alchemical Life

Bruce T. Moran

Paracelsus

Bruce T. Moran

Distributed for Reaktion Books

216 pages | 10 color plates, 10 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789141443 Published October 2019 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $22.50 ISBN: 9781789141764 Published September 2019
Review Quotes
Forbidden Histories
"Marked by an admirable even-handedness and genuine human curiosity, Moran carefully places back the life and ideas of Paracelsus into the context of Renaissance culture and natural philosophy. Moran’s prose is both accessible and engaging, and he does a wonderful job taking his readers back to a time that was very different from ours—a world that was saturated with wonder and magic, and a deep faith in the interconnectedness of mind and matter."
Choice
"This fascinating book by Moran constitutes a rich and detailed biographical study of the life and character of Theophrastus von Hohenheim (aka, Paracelsus, 1493–1541), a truly unique Renaissance man whose interests included mysticism, astrology, medicine, and alchemy. Moran paints a vivid picture of Paracelsus as a physician-alchemist and itinerant traveler of both natural and supernatural worlds, detailing how these worlds intersect. In many ways this book is much more than an account of the alchemical life of Pararcelsus, as it also delves deep into the complex period of the early Renaissance and its struggle to shed its medieval past. Unlike many other biographical accounts of the accomplishments of Paracelsus, which tend to depict him as somewhat of a charlatan, Moran tries to present a positive picture of a sincere scholar in search of a reformist view of the nature of medicine. Moran has produced an excellent book that is both historically informative and narratively engaging. Replete with wonderful illustrations, it will surely appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended."
Scott McLemee | Inside Higher Ed
"Moran's Paracelsus: An Alchemical Life considers a sixteenth-century figure with one foot planted in the world of occult philosophy and the other in what, for all its limitations, definitely counts as medical science. He 'traveled constantly, learning and teaching a new form of medicine based on the experience of miners, bathers, alchemists, midwives, and barber-surgeons,' while also cultivating 'mystical speculations, an alchemical view of nature, and an intriguing concept of creation.' The latter apparently included the belief in a female deity. All things considered, the most surprising thing about Paracelsus is that he managed to die a natural death. Perhaps he traveled too much for religious authorities to do him in."
Social History of Medicine
"For those who have spent considerable time with Paracelsus and his ideas, as has Moran, this book is a deeply personal essay about both its subject and its readers, bringing to bear the results of long contemplation of Paracelsus’ writings and gems from recent German scholarship. . . . This attractively made book, illustrated with a reproduced image of a painted-panel portrait of Paracelsus on the cover, which artistically places the man in the Wittenberg Reformation, beckons the reader who has not met Theophrastus Paracelsus to do so. But it is also rewarding for those familiar with the historical figure, offering an occasion on which to contemplate ourselves and reflect on exactly why we find him so ineluctably fascinating."
Metascience
"Written in an impressive style, the author strives to present the reader with a vivid picture of the temporal and medico-historical environment of this fascinating Renaissance thinker. Thus, the book not only presents an introductory biography of Paracelsus, but also outlines the state of science and medicine at the turn from the Middle Ages to modern times in an exemplary manner. . . . Moran has succeeded in writing a captivating and extremely well-written short biography of Paracelsus, covering his life, his teachings, and his historical context. The book will be read with profit by the novice as well as the expert."
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