Dr John Dee – Mortlake’s most celebrated resident – was a key figure in the intellectual life of 16th century Europe. He was a natural philosopher – a scientist in effect – who came to believe that he could arrive at a closer understanding of God’s creation through contact with angels. He was also a political advisor and an astronomer, an antiquarian and bibliophile, a classicist and linguist; he designed stage machinery and instructed in mathematics, navigation and engineering, and his reputation in Europe as an astrologer and alchemist was considerable. This book relates the life of John Dee to the remarkable house with its laboratories, library and oratory that had once stood in Mortlake and paints a vivid of the Dee household and its mistress, Jane Dee.
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