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Alchemy: Ancient and Modern


PORTRAIT OF PARACELSUS
[Frontispiece
ALCHEMY:? ANCIENT AND MODERN
BEING A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE ALCHEMISTIC DOC- TRINES, AND THEIR
RELATIONS, TO MYSTICISM ON THE ONE HAND, AND TO RECENT DISCOVERIES IN
PHYSICAL SCIENCE ON THE OTHER HAND; TOGETHER WITH SOME PARTICULARS
REGARDING THE LIVES AND TEACHINGS OF THE MOST NOTED ALCHEMISTS
BY? H. STANLEY REDGROVE, B.Sc. (Lond.), F.C.S.? AUTHOR OF “ON THE
CALCULATION OF THERMO-CHEMICAL CONSTANTS,”? “MATTER, SPIRIT AND THE
COSMOS,” ETC.
WITH 16 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
SECOND AND REVISED EDITION
LONDON? WILLIAM RIDER & SON, LTD.? 8 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C. 4? 1922
First
published
19
11
Second
Edition
19
22
[v]
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
It is exceedingly gratifying to me that a second edition of this book should be called
for. But still more welcome is the change in the attitude of the educated world
towards the old-time alchemists and their theories which has taken place during the
past few years.
The theory of the origin of Alchemy put forward in Chapter I has led to considerable
discussion; but whilst this theory has met with general acceptance, some of its
earlier critics took it as implying far more than is actually the case. As a result of
further research my conviction of its truth has become more fully confirmed, and in
my recent work entitled Bygone Beliefs (Rider, 1920), under the title of “The Quest
of the Philosopher’s Stone,” I have found it possible to adduce further evidence in
this connection. At the same time, whilst I became increasingly convinced tha t the
main alchemistic hypotheses were drawn from the domain of mystical theology and
applied to physics and chemistry by way of analogy, it also became evident to me
that the crude physiology of bygone ages and remnants of the old phallic faith
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