%PDF-1.3 1 0 obj << /Type /Catalog /Outlines 2 0 R /Pages 3 0 R >> endobj 2 0 obj << /Type /Outlines /Count 0 >> endobj 3 0 obj << /Type /Pages /Kids [6 0 R 14 0 R 16 0 R 21 0 R 29 0 R ] /Count 5 /Resources << /ProcSet 4 0 R /Font << /F1 8 0 R /F2 9 0 R /F3 10 0 R >> /XObject << /I1 11 0 R >> >> /MediaBox [0.000 0.000 595.280 841.890] >> endobj 4 0 obj [/PDF /Text /ImageC ] endobj 5 0 obj << /Creator (DOMPDF) /CreationDate (D:20140819061035+01'00') /ModDate (D:20140819061035+01'00') /Title (The Chemical Choir: a History of Alchemy) >> endobj 6 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 3 0 R /Annots [ 12 0 R ] /Contents 7 0 R >> endobj 7 0 obj << /Length 4306 >> stream q 381.750 0 0 120.000 34.016 687.874 cm /I1 Do Q 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 34.016 676.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Published on )] TJ ET BT 99.356 676.469 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Reviews in History)] TJ ET BT 190.016 676.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( \()] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 rg BT 197.012 676.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 RG 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 197.012 675.075 m 357.332 675.075 l S 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 357.332 676.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(\))] TJ ET 0.502 0.502 0.502 RG 0.75 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 34.391 653.743 526.499 1.500 re S BT 34.016 615.321 Td /F3 18.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir: a History of Alchemy)] TJ ET BT 34.016 287.579 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Maxwell-Stuart's )] TJ ET BT 119.168 287.579 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 217.172 287.579 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is a potentially useful book about the history of alchemy from its roots )] TJ ET BT 34.016 273.323 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(in ancient China and Egypt in the 4th century AD until the 20th century. It has several merits. Firstly, it )] TJ ET BT 34.016 259.067 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(breaks down a complex subject ? the study of nature through experiments with chemicals ? into ten easy-to-)] TJ ET BT 34.016 244.811 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(read chapters. From ancient China and India to Roman Egypt \(chapters one to three\) proceeding to the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 230.555 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Islamic world in the middle ages whence medieval Europe acquired much of what Western alchemy came to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 216.299 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(be \(chapters four and five\), Maxwell-Stuart takes the reader on a fascinating journey. He then dedicates three )] TJ ET BT 34.016 202.043 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(chapters to the early modern period. This was both Western alchemy's heyday as well as the beginning of its )] TJ ET BT 34.016 187.787 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(decline following the rise of modern chemistry. The last two chapters are about alchemy since the scientific )] TJ ET BT 34.016 173.531 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(revolution. The book ends with the 20th-century fascination with the occult as well as with the description of )] TJ ET BT 34.016 159.275 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(chemical experiments that were succcessfully carried out in the 1960s, and which made gold out of base )] TJ ET BT 34.016 145.019 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(matter. The reader who has always wondered about alchemy and has not yet read a history of the subject will )] TJ ET BT 34.016 130.763 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(find )] TJ ET BT 56.348 130.763 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 154.352 130.763 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( an entertaining starting point. Maxwell-Stuart's style is assertive and light, typical )] TJ ET BT 34.016 116.507 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of popular science books rather than academic works. Indeed, he himself deprecates some academics' habit )] TJ ET BT 34.016 102.251 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of denigrating scientific divulgation \('The spirit of academic condenscension, it seems, was alive and eager )] TJ ET BT 34.016 87.995 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(to patronize' \(p. 159\)\). He does it so often that the reader will be tempted to forget that Maxwell-Stuart is a )] TJ ET BT 34.016 73.739 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(don himself.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 584.699 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Review Number:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 570.443 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(788)] TJ ET BT 34.016 556.187 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Publish date:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 541.931 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Monday, 31 August, 2009)] TJ ET BT 34.016 527.675 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Author:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 513.419 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(P. G. Maxwell-Stuart)] TJ ET BT 34.016 499.163 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(ISBN:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 484.907 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(9781847251480)] TJ ET BT 34.016 470.651 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Date of Publication:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 456.395 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(2008)] TJ ET BT 34.016 442.139 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Price:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 427.883 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(30.00)] TJ ET BT 34.016 413.627 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Pages:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 399.371 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(216pp.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 385.115 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Publisher:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 370.859 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Continuum)] TJ ET BT 34.016 356.603 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Place of Publication:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 342.347 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(London)] TJ ET BT 34.016 328.091 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Reviewer:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 313.835 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Vittoria Feola)] TJ ET endstream endobj 8 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /Type1 /Name /F1 /BaseFont /Times-Roman /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding >> endobj 9 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /Type1 /Name /F2 /BaseFont /Times-Italic /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding >> endobj 10 0 obj << /Type /Font /Subtype /Type1 /Name /F3 /BaseFont /Times-Bold /Encoding /WinAnsiEncoding >> endobj 11 0 obj << /Type /XObject /Subtype /Image /Width 509 /Height 160 /Filter /FlateDecode /DecodeParms << /Predictor 15 /Colors 3 /Columns 509 /BitsPerComponent 8>> /Mask [ 255 255 255 255 255 255 ] /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB /BitsPerComponent 8 /Length 3280>> stream x[EQ㎦fVttҒ +3O{?lGDQԯDrB^.ϯ%~'0۠/2>0AG_>0j0GCfE67>rB^}@  !&y+r?INp:erc b8f=rQC!~-Wf^^zF[)G 2ޯe7V_Go3Ke GEGOo8rώ#\1ZY~N6^H}yLxS-!:412V+u\-LSO?xVvZ|GjǮT_8EYJF=Tw^ 7GxfN/S:Ʌ~ʟtt?5n÷J'JcF-GVξx{rO~tJd;#a\7}|~y'>}c2C vR}f׈**h.)_&@pfzjsx:5;S\vKhM5j=!Cn+h"u]a EUN]jn=k<,:Ք>sU!ni~6EJ)¦72?G}[y}_vc$t?iSܟ2Zݞ,VN?_`='RFK1A2qv&X_lLRWY'%:I㢖zb_UEx\>&ɆBˏ~K@ \gYØU4}$8Dv!'Q'*+Εj(UCGo[#< 2Ja(sZi9fZKE Rn`u\9r^Zmɯ׹}mstO4uc~#'jEvۼ Dx[z ޏQ4KL5,5u3>i^uÒ-53ba ~,~/pyt1fMU'CVm:qv~=Y'Es"WsφG?l_kN5}],Ow7 uh`xƫ?zMl7ٻv$A(4Dl(wwH} ?=[=S;yC]^BK>㕪9`Z'Wj;E|:bf>kCԘ#RY,iv쵗~}n'"1u" *uO΄/2^Sxr(!/DD\~mJyZ!MmrA!#u[if|99WB WΡpp}w}sh#,\ &:%˳X?D3 %W0cC?o̲^} F3XLVn]Cߖiϧ!7}yZJ#P7]=)7Ρp;>> Ye^xx{Oafw{ ;>4gfLt ʊ:q%#r/)pv!O4wGh|dS ӣݽހ-gVUC'pBxrB^} 7JA^} /'8!`:r?}}],X  }6y!`/~Br?}Q< >k7vx"] ,' .3jn{-i}|~%-};b6#U)7繎kiEw 㤳:E}[޼c"rꬊ7Dc$~"/Y&zSd:tFȌCrʙ`7u .#[-<)j ?TGS(j~oTup(hjU4PlJ=}|it.ҽ@\wʨuXÞZcx18Wo<~ikOg,ވ\^?EneyZcc0[R١z|zv7_m:_n]a?osS3~j^ hD.a_X'KfBX6w wݶ"Oa:,bvhrWH[uCF-Xfc}>x+Rz)2N-B 7y^٨;[/vg? | |2Sve}=o䑰j[vWjF0{굦?VI~}xM(_TlG__+]:#к?S} c>GŸD7 !w{S{B =x7a?oE#)+Gz:o_4Q<;n?\tt7?mGCџQGu4kņOF>F?#} hP&ђߴM#u!.СtL2^#o nIk_i.~7tr@n 1P~3?.[]=S5b߮~Yo^HFH YBi8a4iom>CKgMy*;?zqEӕ` >zB9iFzC?XF?ޟIܰ펉A}{I5ᄊx%ez#Mp@rߎpi]IOVjzuJt\۰f׺u5><,J~PTJp1)}){9N {!`/> endstream endobj 12 0 obj << /Type /Annot /Subtype /Link /A 13 0 R /Border [0 0 0] /H /I /Rect [ 197.0117 675.3895 357.3317 687.2695 ] >> endobj 13 0 obj << /Type /Action /S /URI /URI (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews) >> endobj 14 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 3 0 R /Contents 15 0 R >> endobj 15 0 obj << /Length 7379 >> stream 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg 0.502 0.502 0.502 RG 0.75 w 0 J [ ] 0 d BT 34.016 784.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(The second, important merit of his book is that it reminds us of the ongoing interest in alchemy virtually )] TJ ET BT 34.016 770.213 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(throughout human history since the 4th century AD. As Maxwell-Stuart puts it, ?we are observing a living, )] TJ ET BT 34.016 755.957 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(not a dead science? \(p. ix\). Many histories of alchemy tend to focus on Western alchemy only, leaving out )] TJ ET BT 34.016 741.701 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(the history of alchemy in China and India. Maxwell-Stuart, instead, brilliantly shows the striking similarities )] TJ ET BT 34.016 727.445 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of these Asian practices with the Western intellectual tradition. His point that alchemy is an essential part of )] TJ ET BT 34.016 713.189 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(the history of man's quest for knowledge regardless of Western/Eastern divisions needs to be appreciated. In )] TJ ET BT 34.016 698.933 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(this sense, )] TJ ET BT 86.348 698.933 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 184.352 698.933 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is well suited for a global market.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 672.677 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 132.020 672.677 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is very much market-oriented though, at times excessively. Maxwell-Stuart makes )] TJ ET BT 34.016 658.421 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(some fashionable statements that verge on the sensationalistic and which detract credibility from his work. A )] TJ ET BT 34.016 644.165 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(striking example is his statement that alchemy originated in China whence it reached the West through the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 629.909 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Islamic world.)] TJ ET BT 64.016 591.653 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(There seems little doubt that 'alchemy' is a mongrel term originating in Chinese )] TJ ET BT 448.640 591.653 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(kim)] TJ ET BT 465.968 591.653 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( or )] TJ ET BT 481.964 591.653 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(chim)] TJ ET BT 64.016 577.397 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(meaning aurification ... [which] trickled into the Mediterranean world where kim was )] TJ ET BT 64.016 563.141 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(translitterated into the Greek of Egypt as )] TJ ET BT 262.316 563.141 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(khemeia)] TJ ET BT 302.300 563.141 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(, to which later still, perhaps under the )] TJ ET BT 64.016 548.885 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(influence of Syria, was added the Arabic definite article )] TJ ET BT 335.276 548.885 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(al,)] TJ ET BT 347.612 548.885 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( and that thus was produced the form )] TJ ET BT 64.016 534.629 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(alchimia)] TJ ET BT 106.016 534.629 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( adopted by Latin and Western vernaculars \(p. 1\).)] TJ ET BT 34.016 496.373 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(As fascinating and fashionable as this may be, it is simply inaccurate. There is little doubt that no evidence )] TJ ET BT 34.016 482.117 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(has ever been found about Maxwell-Stuart's posited Chinese etymology of the word alchemy. There is not a )] TJ ET BT 34.016 467.861 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(single Hellenistic Greek word of Chinese origin, let alone any trace whatsoever of Chinese words relating to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 453.605 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(metallurgy. Besides, Maxwell-Stuart himself does not give any evidence for his made-in-China alchemy. )] TJ ET BT 34.016 439.349 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Western alchemy grew out of Hellenistic Greece, whereas Chinese alchemy developed in China, more or )] TJ ET BT 34.016 425.093 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(less at the same time, in a completely independent manner.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 398.837 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Another fashionable expression today is 'climate change'. We find it, therefore, in )] TJ ET BT 428.588 398.837 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 526.592 398.837 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(. )] TJ ET BT 34.016 384.581 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Maxwell-Stuart argues that the late 16th- and mid 17th-century peaks in alchemical publications were due to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 370.325 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(colder weather which, together with wars, created a widespread need for easy money: 'rulers and )] TJ ET BT 34.016 356.069 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(landowners, made nervous \(and in some cases penurious\) by this combination of circumstances, looked for )] TJ ET BT 34.016 341.813 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(ways to increase their threatened incomes, and others less fortunately placed in the social scale turned to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 327.557 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(anyone who might be able to provide them with gold and silver' \(p. 83\). It is true that climatologists have )] TJ ET BT 34.016 313.301 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(identified in the period in point a so-called 'little ice age'. Yet, it seems questionable to suggest that the early )] TJ ET BT 34.016 299.045 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(modern climax in alchemical practices and printed works owed more to colder winters than to the rise of the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 284.789 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(printing press and to the early modern tendency to push out Latin while supporting the vernacular in the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 270.533 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(transmission of knowledge.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 244.277 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(A third example of a fashionable subject which finds its way into )] TJ ET BT 349.976 244.277 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 447.980 244.277 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is the importance of )] TJ ET BT 34.016 230.021 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(women. Though it cannot be described as as a feminist book, )] TJ ET BT 330.308 230.021 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 428.312 230.021 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( certainly overemphasises )] TJ ET BT 34.016 215.765 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(the role of women alchemists. For instance, on page 27, while discussing alchemy in Burma, Maxwell-Stuart )] TJ ET BT 34.016 201.509 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(states: ?Two points are worth mentioning. First, a )] TJ ET BT 275.336 201.509 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(zawgyi)] TJ ET BT 308.672 201.509 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( [the Burmese word for alchemist] is a man, not a )] TJ ET BT 34.016 187.253 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(woman ? most unusual since females, as we have seen, play a crucial role in alchemical operations )] TJ ET BT 34.016 172.997 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(elsewhere?. In the chapter about Hellenistic alchemy, the importance of Maria the Jewess and Kleopatra is )] TJ ET BT 34.016 158.741 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(also overstated \(pp. 36?9\). In fact, a look at any biographical dictionary of alchemical practitioners will )] TJ ET BT 34.016 144.485 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(confirm just the contrary. Maxwell-Stuart is right, we do have a few names of women alchemists. Likewise, )] TJ ET BT 34.016 130.229 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(I would add, we know of a number of women printers in 17th-century London. Yet they are too few to allow )] TJ ET BT 34.016 115.973 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(us to speak of the active participation of women in either alchemy or in the publishing business.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 89.717 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Sensationalism is but a venial sin. The argument that alchemy has always had mainly spiritual connotations )] TJ ET BT 34.016 75.461 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(is rather more problematic. Maxwell-Stuart claims: ?Alchemy, then, far from being a defunct preliminary to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 61.205 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(the ?rational? investigations of modern chemistry, is as vigorous as ever it was ? But if the spiritualizing side )] TJ ET endstream endobj 16 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 3 0 R /Annots [ 19 0 R ] /Contents 17 0 R >> endobj 17 0 obj << /Length 8262 >> stream 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg 0.502 0.502 0.502 RG 0.75 w 0 J [ ] 0 d BT 34.016 796.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of the science continues to exert its influence ? and this aspect of alchemy has remained more or less )] TJ ET BT 34.016 782.213 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(constant in its appeal throughout the centuries? \(p. 165\). The author?s main point is that alchemy has never )] TJ ET BT 34.016 767.957 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(stopped attracting new adepts since its rise in China because of its spiritual dimension. Emblematic of this )] TJ ET BT 34.016 753.701 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(argument is the American Civil-War military man and adviser to Abraham Lincoln, Ethan Hitchcock )] TJ ET BT 34.016 739.445 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(\(1798?1870\) [who] ?betrays his nineteenth-century origins, because during the book he draws attention to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 725.189 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(parallels between the Indian school of Vedanta and the alchemy he is describing, and thus reminds us of the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 710.933 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(westward flow of Eastern esotericism which was increasingly influential during the middle years and second )] TJ ET BT 34.016 696.677 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(half of the century in the West?s construction of syncretistic philosophies?. \(p. 145\) This spiritual, occult )] TJ ET BT 34.016 682.421 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(allure would explain alchemy?s century-long success despite Western denigration since the scientific )] TJ ET BT 34.016 668.165 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(revoluton. 'The truth is that at this present time alchemy has never been more vigorous or more widely )] TJ ET BT 34.016 653.909 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(practised, especially in the homelands of science and rationality' \(p. ix-x\).)] TJ ET BT 34.016 627.653 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(The problem with )] TJ ET BT 123.008 627.653 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 221.012 627.653 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( seems to be one of definition: what were alchemy?s nature and aims? )] TJ ET BT 34.016 613.397 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Historians broadly agree today that alchemy had three main goals. First, to turn base metals into gold; )] TJ ET BT 34.016 599.141 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(secondly, to find a panacea which would prolong man's life; and, thirdly, to produce various substances )] TJ ET BT 34.016 584.885 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(which could improve vegetation. Some historians also add a spiritual dimension by reading alchemical texts )] TJ ET BT 34.016 570.629 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(metaphorically as a way to reach illumination and direct contact with God. The latter aim is not easy to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 556.373 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(demonstrate. When Maxwell-Stuart talks of Chinese spiritual alchemy, for example, he quotes from a series )] TJ ET BT 34.016 542.117 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of poems \(pp. 8?9\) which can be regarded as belonging to the genre of 'metaphysical poetry' ? the kind of )] TJ ET BT 34.016 527.861 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(poems that John Donne wrote, for instance. He misleadingly calls them alchemical because they mention )] TJ ET BT 34.016 513.605 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(alchemical practices. In fact, they cannot be considered as such, because alchemical poems are recipes )] TJ ET BT 34.016 499.349 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(written in lyrical form ? one can think of some of Elias Ashmole's poems in his Theatrum Chemicum )] TJ ET BT 34.016 485.093 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Britannicum \(London, 1652\). Turning metaphysical poems into evidence of alchemy's spiritual dimension is )] TJ ET BT 34.016 470.837 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(not convincing. Besides, Maxwell-Stuart's secondary sources do not include many rigorous historians of )] TJ ET BT 34.016 456.581 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(science, such as Brian Vickers and Bill Newman. Instead, the author makes ample use of works whose )] TJ ET BT 34.016 442.325 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(scientific credibility is very little. )] TJ ET BT 196.676 442.325 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 294.680 442.325 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is an entirely derivative work. This is understandable, )] TJ ET BT 34.016 428.069 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(to a certain degree, given its divulgative nature. Yet, Maxwell-Stuart's bold assertion about the spiritual )] TJ ET BT 34.016 413.813 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(dimension of alchemy is bound to be controversial among academics and popular among )] TJ ET BT 464.288 413.813 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Da Vinci Code)] TJ ET BT 34.016 399.557 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(fans.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 373.301 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Another argument which historians of science will find it difficult to swallow is the one which Maxwell-)] TJ ET BT 34.016 359.045 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Stuart repeats from page one onwards, namely, ?Chinese alchemy differs from its Western counterpart in at )] TJ ET BT 34.016 344.789 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(least one fundamental respect. For while the manufacture of gold was certainly one aim of its practitioners, a )] TJ ET BT 34.016 330.533 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(more important one concerned the effort to produce an elixir or pill of immortality [?] Such a goal was never )] TJ ET BT 34.016 316.277 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(the principal aim in the medieval or early modern West, although it is possible to see its modern counterpart )] TJ ET BT 34.016 302.021 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(in Western hopes that medical techniques such as genetic manipulation may lengthen human life )] TJ ET BT 34.016 287.765 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(considerably?. That is to say, the author argues that medieval and early modern Western alchemy was not )] TJ ET BT 34.016 273.509 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(mainly concerned with the manufacturing of chemical drugs which, under the name of elixir, or red stone, or )] TJ ET BT 34.016 259.253 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(philosopher?s stone, were above all meant to prolong human life by curing disease. This is hugely )] TJ ET BT 34.016 244.997 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(disputable. More and more evidence has been coming out which shows exactly the latter point. One only )] TJ ET BT 34.016 230.741 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(needs to read the huge literature about Paracelsianism and the struggle to reform the English medical regime )] TJ ET BT 34.016 216.485 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(in the 17th century ? or simply look at the always useful Keith Thomas?s )] TJ ET BT 387.980 216.485 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Religion and the Decline of Magic)] TJ ET BT 553.628 216.485 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(.)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 rg BT 34.016 202.229 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(\(1\))] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 RG 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 34.016 200.835 m 48.008 200.835 l S 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 48.008 202.229 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( As far as the Continent is concerned, similar conclusions have been reached with regards to chemical )] TJ ET BT 34.016 187.973 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(drugs in 16th-century France and Italy. Even the Hapsburg Empire, so far a favourite place of ?alchemy )] TJ ET BT 34.016 173.717 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(equal to gold-making? is now under serious scrutiny and evidence is emerging of a more medically-oriented )] TJ ET BT 34.016 159.461 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(alchemy, at least in early modern Vienna. Alchemy in the medieval and the early modern West was above )] TJ ET BT 34.016 145.205 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(all concerned with pharmacological concotions. Some alchemists also looked for ways to transform base )] TJ ET BT 34.016 130.949 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(matter into gold. A minority of them believed that dirtying their hands in the laboratory would gain them )] TJ ET BT 34.016 116.693 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(salvation. Virtually all alchemists, though, did attach some religious significance to their work, because it )] TJ ET BT 34.016 102.437 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(involved dealing with nature, that is, with God?s creation. )] TJ ET BT 315.320 102.437 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 413.324 102.437 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(, instead, turns this hierarchy )] TJ ET BT 34.016 88.181 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(of aims upside down, thus misleading readers who are unfamiliar with the topic into believing that alchemy )] TJ ET BT 34.016 73.925 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(has always been primarily an occult subject. If this was an acceptable view 50 years ago, it is no longer one )] TJ ET BT 34.016 59.669 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(now. )] TJ ET BT 60.680 59.669 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 158.684 59.669 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(, therefore, is anachronistic from a historiographical point of view. At the same )] TJ ET endstream endobj 18 0 obj [16 0 R /Fit] endobj 19 0 obj << /Type /Annot /Subtype /Link /A 20 0 R /Border [0 0 0] /H /I /Rect [ 34.0157 201.1495 48.0077 213.0295 ] >> endobj 20 0 obj << /Type /Action >> endobj 21 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 3 0 R /Annots [ 23 0 R 25 0 R 27 0 R ] /Contents 22 0 R >> endobj 22 0 obj << /Length 7660 >> stream 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg 0.000 0.000 0.800 RG 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d BT 34.016 796.469 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(time, though, it is very suited to contemporary publishing \(and cinematographic\) trends, which make the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 782.213 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(revival of almost anything occult sure winners.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 755.957 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Maxwell-Stuart plays down the medical aspect of medieval and early modern Werstern alchemy, for two )] TJ ET BT 34.016 741.701 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(purposes. First, as we have just seen, to claim that alchemy has always and everywhere been above all about )] TJ ET BT 34.016 727.445 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(spiritual regeneration. Secondly, because in this way he can devote the last three chapters of the book to )] TJ ET BT 34.016 713.189 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(alchemy since its transformation into chemistry as we understand it today. ?While chemistry sailed into a )] TJ ET BT 34.016 698.933 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(nineteenth century more and more fascinated by the expanding capabilities of technological invention, )] TJ ET BT 34.016 684.677 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(alchemy found itself \(along with the other occult sciences\) on the one hand marginalized in the public )] TJ ET BT 34.016 670.421 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(academic consciousness, but on the other wedded to unorthodox aspects of the century?s chosen )] TJ ET BT 34.016 656.165 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(spiritualisms and obliged thereby to give birth to unexpected offspring? \(p. 143\). The argument is that )] TJ ET BT 34.016 641.909 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(changing approaches to and definitions of what constitutes useful knowledge pushed alchemy more and )] TJ ET BT 34.016 627.653 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(more into the minority group of occult sciences. Minorities are another fashionable topic and Maxwell-)] TJ ET BT 34.016 613.397 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Stuart does not resist the temptation of an allusion to the )] TJ ET BT 307.676 613.397 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Da Vinci Code)] TJ ET BT 379.004 613.397 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( by devoting space to the 18th-)] TJ ET BT 34.016 599.141 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(century ?spiritual? alchemy of the Illuminati, a sect which dabbled in anything occult but which did not have )] TJ ET BT 34.016 584.885 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(a strikingly important influence on the intellectual panorama of the time. \(p. 139\))] TJ ET BT 34.016 558.629 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(What really seems at stake in the last three chapters of The Chemical Choir is the issue of amateurism in )] TJ ET BT 34.016 544.373 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(science. Maxwell-Stuart describes several people?s attempts at making gold out of chemical experiments on )] TJ ET BT 34.016 530.117 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(private premises, for instance he devotes a section to the alchemical experiments of Arthur Strindberg. )] TJ ET BT 34.016 515.861 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Funnily, the author treats them in the same manner as those of Ernest Rutherford and comments: ?? in 1919 )] TJ ET BT 34.016 501.605 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Ernest Rutherford had announced a successful transmutation of one element into another ? nitrogen into )] TJ ET BT 34.016 487.349 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(oxygen ? so the possibilities of going further were not entirely without foundation, and we find that the )] TJ ET BT 34.016 473.093 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(pages of such journals as )] TJ ET BT 156.992 473.093 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Nature)] TJ ET BT 190.328 473.093 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( and )] TJ ET BT 213.656 473.093 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Scientific American)] TJ ET BT 307.976 473.093 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( frequently report on gold-making attempts in non-)] TJ ET BT 34.016 458.837 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(alchemical laboratories. In general their comments vary between sceptical and dismissive? \(p. 159\). The )] TJ ET BT 34.016 444.581 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(author?s point is that whenever the alchemical goal of transmutation was carried out, because it was )] TJ ET BT 34.016 430.325 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(considered to be the goal of a dead science, something chiefly unscientific, the academic community has )] TJ ET BT 34.016 416.069 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(snobbily ignored it. Here )] TJ ET BT 157.004 416.069 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 255.008 416.069 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( misses the opportunity of tackling a broader issue, namely )] TJ ET BT 34.016 401.813 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(that of the role of amateurial scientific practices in the advancement and progress of science.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 375.557 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Despite the sensationalistic allure of occult practices, Maxwell-Stuart does not refrain from warning his )] TJ ET BT 34.016 361.301 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(readers that there are always people who are willing to believe nonsense \(p. 165\). This could be seen as )] TJ ET BT 34.016 347.045 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(ironic, given some of the arguments of the book. Nevertheless, the author does make some important claims )] TJ ET BT 34.016 332.789 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(which deserve attention, such as when he reminds us of changing attitudes to symbolic speech \(pp. 156-7\). )] TJ ET BT 34.016 318.533 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Overall, )] TJ ET BT 76.004 318.533 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical Choir)] TJ ET BT 174.008 318.533 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( is yet another popular book about the history of alchemy. It is easy to read ? )] TJ ET BT 34.016 304.277 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(except for the author's annoying habit of inserting too many foreign words \(such as 'aperu' \(p. 36\) while he )] TJ ET BT 34.016 290.021 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(could have just written 'aphorism', and 'ben trovato' \(p. 85\) which is taken out of a 16th-century Italian work )] TJ ET BT 34.016 275.765 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(that very few people might know today\) and some which he does not use appropriately \('en crote' does not )] TJ ET BT 34.016 261.509 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(mean 'ground' \(p. 32\), rather, ?wrapped in pastry and baked?; 'Orden' has, contrary to the author's claim, )] TJ ET BT 34.016 247.253 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(several meanings in German, for instance a chivalric order is called 'Ritterorden', \(p. 107\). )] TJ ET BT 469.568 247.253 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(The Chemical )] TJ ET BT 34.016 232.997 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Choir)] TJ ET BT 62.024 232.997 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( makes some important points about man's everlasting fascination with the study of nature through )] TJ ET BT 34.016 218.741 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(chemicals. It is not, however, a milestone in the historiography of alchemy.)] TJ ET BT 34.016 183.843 Td /F3 18.0 Tf [(Notes)] TJ ET BT 48.816 153.226 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(1.)] TJ ET BT 64.016 153.221 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Keith Thomas, )] TJ ET BT 138.344 153.221 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth- and )] TJ ET BT 64.016 138.965 Td /F2 12.0 Tf [(Seventeenth-Century England)] TJ ET BT 207.656 138.965 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [( \(London, 1971\).)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 rg BT 288.980 138.965 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(Back to \(1\))] TJ ET 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 288.980 137.571 m 342.968 137.571 l S 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 34.016 112.709 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Other reviews:)] TJ ET BT 34.016 98.453 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(druid)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 rg BT 34.016 84.197 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(http://druidnetwork.org/node/1001427)] TJ ET 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 34.016 82.803 m 218.348 82.803 l S 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 221.348 84.197 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [([2])] TJ ET 0.502 0.502 0.502 RG 0.75 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 34.391 79.471 526.499 1.500 re S BT 34.016 61.691 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Source URL:)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 rg BT 104.672 61.691 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [(http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/788)] TJ ET 0.000 0.000 0.800 RG 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d 104.672 60.297 m 322.316 60.297 l S 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg BT 34.016 35.320 Td /F3 12.0 Tf [(Links:)] TJ ET endstream endobj 23 0 obj << /Type /Annot /Subtype /Link /A 24 0 R /Border [0 0 0] /H /I /Rect [ 288.9797 137.8855 342.9677 149.7655 ] >> endobj 24 0 obj << /Type /Action /S /GoTo /D 18 0 R >> endobj 25 0 obj << /Type /Annot /Subtype /Link /A 26 0 R /Border [0 0 0] /H /I /Rect [ 34.0157 83.1175 218.3477 94.9975 ] >> endobj 26 0 obj << /Type /Action /S /URI /URI (http://druidnetwork.org/node/1001427) >> endobj 27 0 obj << /Type /Annot /Subtype /Link /A 28 0 R /Border [0 0 0] /H /I /Rect [ 104.6717 60.6115 322.3157 72.4915 ] >> endobj 28 0 obj << /Type /Action /S /URI /URI (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/788) >> endobj 29 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 3 0 R /Contents 30 0 R >> endobj 30 0 obj << /Length 238 >> stream 0.000 0.000 0.000 rg 0.000 0.000 0.800 RG 0.24 w 0 J [ ] 0 d BT 34.016 796.354 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [([1] http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/item/3767)] TJ ET BT 34.016 781.954 Td /F1 12.0 Tf [([2] http://druidnetwork.org/node/1001427)] TJ ET endstream endobj xref 0 31 0000000000 65535 f 0000000008 00000 n 0000000073 00000 n 0000000119 00000 n 0000000349 00000 n 0000000386 00000 n 0000000550 00000 n 0000000632 00000 n 0000004990 00000 n 0000005099 00000 n 0000005209 00000 n 0000005318 00000 n 0000008879 00000 n 0000009007 00000 n 0000009091 00000 n 0000009156 00000 n 0000016588 00000 n 0000016672 00000 n 0000024987 00000 n 0000025017 00000 n 0000025143 00000 n 0000025179 00000 n 0000025277 00000 n 0000032990 00000 n 0000033118 00000 n 0000033173 00000 n 0000033298 00000 n 0000033386 00000 n 0000033512 00000 n 0000033607 00000 n 0000033672 00000 n trailer << /Size 31 /Root 1 0 R /Info 5 0 R >> startxref 33962 %%EOF