London Alchemy
THE LONDON MAGE - John Dee and Francis Barrett
A salon in the cemetery with Glyn Parry & Mark Pilkington
Saturday 4th June from 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Historian Dr Glyn Parry and champion of fringe science Mark Pilkington investigate the deeply strange and magical lives of two alchemists for whom London itself was the laboratory.

Eccentric alchemist and magician, advisor to the Queen, apocalyptic prophet, and converser with angels, John Dee (1527-1609) is commonly regarded as England’s finest magus, a most illustrious champion of the esoteric arts who promised advances in knowledge for 16th-century Europe. In his talk GLYN PARRY discusses Dee’s vast array of political, magical, and scientific writings and explores how they cast light on policy struggles in the Elizabethan court, conservative attacks on magic, and Europe's religious wars.

Several centuries later, the English occultist Francis Barrett (b. circa 1770) made a surprise appearance on London’s literary scene with the publication of his only book, The Magus: A Complete System of Occult Philosophy in 1801. This mammoth work, a complete study of ritual magic, ignited passion for the occult that spread throughout Europe in the early 19th century. In his talk, MARK PILKINGTON pulls back the curtain on these ancient disciplines, looking at alchemy, talismanic magic, magnetism, ceremonial magic, conjuration of spirits and the occult properties of metals, herbs, and stones.

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Dr Glyn Parry
is an author and professor at the University of Roehampton. He specialises in early modern (1500-1750) environmental history, political/intellectual history, religious history, magic, and the history of scholarship. His biography of John Dee, “The Arch Conjuror” was published to great acclaim by Yale University Press and was shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book Prize in 2013.

Mark Pilkington is a writer, publisher, curator and musician with particular interest in the fringes of knowledge, culture and belief. He has written two books, Mirage Men (2010) and Far Out: 101 Strange Tales from Science's Outer Edge (2007). Pilkington's writing has also been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Anomalist, Fortean Times, Frieze, Sight & Sound, The Wire, the Time Out Book of London Walks Vol.2 and London Noir. Pilkington runs Strange Attractor Press and edits its anthology, Strange Attractor Journal.

courtoy mausoleum