Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum

The Complete and Corrected Edition

The most important English alchemical text. - Denis Duveen author of Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica

Compiled by Elias Ashmole

Book design by William Kiesel & Joseph Uccello

Sewn hard-cover in letterpress dust jacket

528 pages, engravings, folding plate ( 8º ) 6” x 9”

  • Over 30 Alchemical Texts
  • Illustrated with Fine Engravings and Woodcuts
  • Corrected Edition with New Material
  • Quality bookmaking for beauty and longevity

The Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum is a major collection of English alchemical texts which encapsulate the arcana of the Magnum Opus in poetic form. Originally gathered by Elias Ashmole from several rare medieval manuscripts, the text represents the largest collection of verse concerning the production of the Philosopher’s Stone to be brought together in one volume.

Here we find well-known names in the alchemical corpus, among whom are included: Thomas Norton, George Ripley, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Daston, Pearce the Black Monke, Richard Carpenter, Abraham Andrews, Thomas Charnock, William Bloomefield, Ed- ward Kelley, John Dee, Thomas Robinson, William Backhouse, John Gower, John Lydgate, W. Redman, and several anonymous authors.

This who’s who of English alchemists is placed in historical context by a Prolegomena by Ashmole, which supports his thesis that England may be proud of its alchemical literary heritage. In addition, Ashmole has provided ample annotations and commentary on each of the texts as supplementary material in the concluding chapter of the book. The text has a new introduction by William Kiesel and a full bibliography of alchemical and bibliographic materials used in researching the text.

In scope, these poems encompass all of the aspects of the great work: theory and practice, instructions on furnaces and vessels, or on substances to be avoided, and allegorical accounts intended to convey the most important secrets. - Dider Khan