Misticall Wordes and Names Infinite: An Edition and Study of Humfrey Lock's Treatise on Alchemy

Misticall Wordes and Names Infinite: An Edition and Study of Humfrey Lock's Treatise on Alchemy

By Peter J. Grund (University of Kansas )
2011 | 356 + xii pp. | 3 ills. | 978-0-86698-415-7 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 367 | $72 | £45 |

Adding to the few edited early English texts on alchemy, this book presents an edition of Humfrey Lock’s (fl. 1560s–1570s) treatise on the philosopher’s stone, the miraculous substance that would turn base metals into silver and gold or cure diseases. The substantial introduction weaves together struggles between competing merchant factions in Russia, the Elizabethan court’s fascination with alchemy, and the origins and evolution of Lock’s alchemical treatise. The book offers new insights into the circulation of alchemical texts in early modern England, the reuse and adaptation of alchemical literature, and the emergence of English as a language of science.