Lawrence M. Principe is the Drew Professor of the Humanities in the Department of the History of Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.
Principe radically reinterprets Boyle's most famous work, The Sceptical Chymist, to show that it criticizes not alchemists, as has been thought, but "unphilosophical" pharmacists and textbook writers. He then shows Boyle's unambiguous enthusiasm for alchemy in his "lost" Dialogue on the Transmutation and Melioration of Metals, now reconstructed from scattered fragments and presented here in full for the first time. Intriguingly, Boyle believed that the goal of his quest, the Philosopher's Stone, could not only transmute base metals into gold, but could also attract angels. Alchemy could thus act both as a source of knowledge and as a defense against the growing tide of atheism that tormented him. In seeking to integrate the seemingly contradictory facets of Boyle's work, Principe also illuminates how alchemy and other "unscientific" pursuits had a far greater impact on early modern science than has previously been thought.
How to become invisible, to make someone fall in love with you, to transform into another creature: these are all things that people have believed in, yearned for, or feared, throughout history. Spells and charms have captured the imagination for hundreds of years. Warding off evil is also something that has concerned people throughout history. From werewolves to all manner of snakes in the wizarding world, you’d learn how to face a number of strange and frightening forces in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes.
This eBook short examines the colourful characters and curious incidents of the real history of magic, and how they relate to the Hogwarts lesson subjects of Charms and Defence Against the Dark Arts.
The history of magic is as long as time and as wide as the world. In every culture, in every age, in every place and, probably, in every heart, there is magic.