a bibliography of English-language writings


  1. I would urge that you read the Using the bibliography page.
  2. If you cannot find what you want, email me at and I will try to include any relevant material in the next update.


This page consists of the Introductory material to the 1st edition of the Bibliography, excluding the list of abbreviations of books. It also includes the Appendix of the sources searched.

It has been reproduced almost exactly as it appeared, with some very minor correction of obvious errors.

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It consists of 3 major sections


PREFACE. On alchemy and its bibliography. This also includes some views at the end on the history and importance of alchemy. The references to item numbers refer to the printed edition and do not bear any relationship with the numbers in the current edition. I have put the major authors into bold face, to help in tracing these in the current edition.

INTRODUCTION.  The arrangement and layout of the bibliography. The references to class numbers also refer only to the printed edition, as I have made substantial changes to the classification for the current edition.

APPENDIX, Major sources searched. (Why didn’t I put the dates of the periodical runs that I searched??)

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A work such as this could not have been compiled without the help of many people - particularly long-suffering librarians who have assisted in the task of seeing so much material. Thanks must go therefore to the librarians and staffs of the following:

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Bodleian Library

British Library. Lending Division, Reference Division and Science Reference Library

Chemical Society

City of London Polytechnic

Imperial College. Department of History of Science and Technology

Imperial College. Lyon Playfair Library

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

Royal Institution

School of Oriental and African Studies Science Museum

Society of Friends

Theosophical Society

University College, London

University of London Library

Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

In addition the fugitive nature of so much occult material has necessitated continual contacts with bookshops. In particular, thanks are due to the Atlantis Bookshop, Museum Street, London.

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A considerable debt is owed to the City of London Polytechnic which has supported me in this work by granting study leave.

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More personal thanks are due to my supervisor, Lieut-Col F.J. Griffin, to Ms A. Coudert, to Dr S. Mahdihassan, to Mr R.A. Gilbert and particularly to my wife (for tolerating three years of thesis) and daughter (for assistance with 'sorting and filing').

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On alchemy and its bibliography

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1. Introduction

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In his book, Shumaker says (item 2511, p. 264):

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'With regard to Hermes Trismegistus, the student's most troublesome prob­lem is resisting the lure of by-ways: into Orphism, neo-Platonism generally, the Rosicrucian movement, Freemasonry, Swedenborgianism, Gnosticism, Egyptian history and religion, the Cambridge Platonists, and much else - in short, occulta of every conceivable kind.'

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A. P. Sy makes a similar point. Although not agreeing with his evaluative comments, he does usefully extend Shumaker's list when he says in his essay on the literature of alchemy (item 2429):

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'Alchemy reaches into many related fields. In the early literature there is much confusion between alchemy and astrology. One or more phases of alchemy reach into magic, necromancy, mysticism, occultism, transcenden­talism, and the Kabbalah; alchemical influences may be found in secret societies and religious associations, such as the Freemasons, Carbonari, Rosicrucians, Jesuits and Templars. Not the least interesting feature of its literature is its meaningless jargon, symbolism and imagery.'

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Both authors, in fact, rather understate the extent and range of the by-ways and the following could be added to the above lists:

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symbolism, mythology, the Tarot, English sectarianism, English literature (especially poetry), the history of science (especially chemistry and medicine), Taoism, I Ching, yoga and Jungian psychology.

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The introduction to this bibliography attempts not only to describe the function and purpose of the bibliography itself, but also to sketch in the history and importance of alchemy. The history has been written many times before in much greater detail, but I have never found the explanations to be very satisfactory. In a very few sentences at the end of this introduction, I have tried to interpret alchemy in a new way. It cannot be given full justice in this fashion but I hope that I may provide a signpost along the Way.

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2 Purpose of the bibliography

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The purpose of this bibliography is to be deliberately eclectic and to explore and present most, if not quite all, of the by-ways. It is a purposeful attempt to draw together into one document all writings in the English language on and about alchemy - texts and secondary works respectively. It adds to these, works which mention alchemy en passant, and works on some of the by-ways which seem to me to be imbued with Hermetic thinking, or which throw light on those works which are directly concerned with alchemy.

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These writings represent the inputs to alchemy and influences on alchemy; alchemy itself; the influences of alchemy on other subjects and persons; and subjects closely related in an Hermetic sense. Some examples of each of these categories are: Gnosticism and the Corpus Hermeticum; mainstream alchemical literature (those items called texts); chemistry, medicine, Blake and the Royal Society; the Tarot and the Kabbalah.

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The writings are drawn from many subjects and disciplines - there are few Dewey main classes which are not represented. Many of these subjects are unaware of the literature on alchemy appearing in the others. It is my hope that, by drawing together this widely scattered literature, new insights can be gained from the interpretations on a subject by specialists in other areas (includ­ing the occult literature) and thus into the continuing interpretations of alchemy, its sources and influences.

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3 The bibliography of alchemy

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Presumably because it is generally considered to be an 'occult' science, alchemy has been very badly treated bibliographically. The two major works in the field are private library catalogues and both are wider in scope than alchemy alone.

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3.1 Ferguson (item 2376) was first published in Glasgow in 1906, and is the catalogue of the collection of James Young. The collection was acquired by Ferguson and is now in the library of Glasgow University together with Ferguson's own substantial library. The collection (and therefore the bibliography) was not limited to alchemy but includes chemical and pharmaceutical books. With the exception of some items, it is a collection which illustrates the steady growth and development of a natural science.

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As a bibliography, it is an extremely detailed, scholarly piece of work. The items themselves have precise title-page transcriptions and collations. Ferguson carefully noted other works by the same author, other editions and translations of the work fully described, references to the author in many other standard works (eg histories and encyclopaedias) and, unusually for a bibliography, a concise and critical biographical account of the author and appraisal of his work. No believer in alchemy, and with little understanding of its esoteric aspects, Ferguson does seem to have been sympathetic. He reported attacks on authors but did not subscribe to them. The format of the bibliography influenced others (eg Osier) and Ferguson's facts and judgements have in most cases yet to be superseded.

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The precise number of references in Ferguson is rather difficult to determine. It is restricted to books and pamphlets - actual works in the collection are said to number about 1 300. However, since many volumes consist of several separ­ately published tracts bound together, the number of separate items must be about 1 500. Ferguson also made reference to items which appear in the major collections such as Theatrum Chemicum (1659) or Manget's Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa (1702) and there were, as mentioned, innumerable references to trans­lations and other editions. In all, therefore, about 5 000 items in all the major languages must have been listed in greater or lesser detail.

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3.2 Duveen (item 2371) appeared half a century later and is cast on more traditional bibliographical lines. It has full transcripts of the title-pages and collations of about 2 000 works with references to a few other major bibliographies and reference works (including Ferguson), but does not have the lengthy annotations to be found in Ferguson. It, too, covers a wider field than alchemy alone and is stronger in eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century works. The collection is now housed at the University of Wisconsin. A little-known supplement was issued in 1953 by a New York bookseller (item 2370).

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3.3 Ferguson also wrote a most useful discursive bibliography on English alchemical literature which was first delivered as a lecture to the Alchemical Society and printed in their Journal (item 2379).

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3.4 A smaller collection on the occult which includes alchemical works is the Mellon Collection. The catalogue was compiled by Macphail (item 2403) and is very much a bibliographers' catalogue, with very careful title-page transcriptions, collations and notes. There are interesting comments on the previous owners of the books and the two-volume catalogue is itself a fine piece of book production (there is an article on this aspect of the catalogue in this biblio­graphy). The introductions by Jaffe and Jung are also of interest.

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3.5 Lesser works may be found at class C016. Of these, the following are worthy of some note:

3.5.1 Bolton's general bibliography on chemistry (item 2349) includes a sub­stantial section on alchemy in short-title form, but reasonably accurate.

3.5.2 The catalogue of the Ferguson Collection (items 2357 ,2377) is interesting as it includes some material not elsewhere available. However, its scope is so wide that the alphabetical arrangement is a hindrance for the seeker after alchemical writings.

3.5.3 Hitchcock's library sale catalogue (item 2392) is especially interesting and throws much light on the man and his interests.

3.5.3 The Science Museum catalogue (item 2422) and Sy's bibliographic essay (item 2429) are both nice pieces of work.

3.5.4 In spite of a lengthy search, it never was possible to see Doberer's book (item 2368a) which would have been useful to cross-check against the holdings of the British Library.

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3.6. Finally there are two other bibliographic works which must be noted as examples of how not to produce a bibliography. Barrett's book (item 50.1) is useful for the extracts from writers but the 'critical catalogue' must surely be in the running for the most inaccurate bibliography ever. Most of the errors were copied by Waite (item 50.2) who managed to make some additional ones of his own. Waite's book must throw some doubt on his general accuracy and one wonders if the picture of him in Crowley's novel Moonchild ('a dull and inaccurate pedant without imagination or real magical perception') may not be more true than is generally accepted.

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4 The range and scope of this bibliography

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4.1 With Ferguson setting such a very high standard, it is as well to say some­ thing about the bibliographical aspects of this work so that the reader may be clear as to what it is and what it is not. The focus of interest is on the ideas and their ramifications rather than on bibliography in its finer sense. In some ways it may be better to say what the bibliography does not attempt to do.

4.1.1 It does not attempt to provide full collations except in one or two cases where not to do so may be misleading. In general, even for older works, the last arabic numbered page is given as the sole pagination.

4.1.2 It does not attempt to provide a complete record of every edition and reissue of a work. Brief notes are given of other editions and reprints where available, but in most cases the details were not verified. Generally the most recent edition was examined as this was the most easily obtained.

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4.2 On a more positive note the bibliography does contain an entry for at least one edition or issue of a work. All versions have been grouped at the same entry number (this is why there are only some 3 400 references - the actual number of separately published items is very much greater). For older works, a full title-page transcription is given (excluding the authors' names and attributes and any foreign language quotations) unless the work is one of those classed as marginal. An attempt was made to examine every item included and this was fairly successful. Although no exact count was made, I would estimate that 80 per cent of items were seen. Those not seen have been identified by means of * before the number so that they may be noted by the reader.

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4.3 The bibliography attempts comprehensive coverage of English language writings in all forms of material on the core subject for the period to 1975 or so. After this date, whilst the core journals have been examined and any relevant items included (even up to mid-1978), because of the delay in abstracting, coverage of the fringe areas which may include items of interest becomes pro­gressively less complete. These comments also apply to the relationship between the core and fringe subjects. Coverage of the latter becomes progressively less complete. In general, only those items which, in my opinion, have explicit con­nections with the core have been included. For the rest, only the most important works have been included. For example only writings on astrology which connect directly with alchemy are included. To have attempted to include every writing on astrology (even though this is one of the key Hermetic sciences) would have made this bibliography too diffuse and probably five times as large. Similarly, the key texts of the Corpus Hermeticum and of Gnosticism have been included, but not the mass of discussion on them.

4.4 Thus, so far as texts are concerned in the English language, it overlaps considerably with both Ferguson and Duveen, although there are many works included which do not appear in either - not only the more recently published ones and texts printed in periodicals, but also of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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4.5 Where secondary works are concerned, the bibliography breaks new ground. A large number of journals and abstracting journals have been searched in whole or in part (see the Appendix). Many journals have been searched on a page-by-page basis because of the lack of indexes. Completeness has been a primary objective, but it must be clearly recognised that it could not be achieved for various reasons.

4.5.1 References to alchemy are very scattered and it is quite likely that many journals that do contain the occasional article on alchemy have not even been examined. A glance through the bibliography will indicate the range of journals. To achieve completeness would have required very much more time and the examination of a high percentage of all English language periodicals published.

4.5.2 United Kingdom holdings of occult periodicals are particularly poor. It has not proved possible to examine many of the titles that are known to exist because there are no runs available and many more titles have only very incom­plete runs (amounting in some cases to only one or two issues). There are two main reasons for this sad state of affairs:

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Occult periodicals and pamphlets are often duplicated in small numbers by individuals or groups for their own purposes, by means of short-run printing or near-print processes. They are rarely deposited in copyright libraries. This is the reason that bookshops are such an essential source of information. (The same is true of fringe political groups.) The occult is not considered to be a suitably respectable subject for libraries to collect, even if they are collecting other fringe or 'little' magazines. Radical political, ecological or even rock music but not the occult. This type of value judgement by librarians causes serious problems to the worker in this field and in view of its fugitive nature much of the occult literature will be lost for­ever. Even commercially published magazines such as New Occult are not avail­able. Libraries such as the Harry Price Library at Senate House are only able to collect a limited range of titles; societies such as the Theosophical Society are under increasing financial pressure, have very specialist interests and are unable even to collect comprehensively in their own area; the major national libraries as represented in BUCOP and their own catalogues have non-existent or poor holdings with many broken runs.

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5 Views of alchemy

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5.1 The conventional view of alchemy sees it as the benighted precursor of modern chemistry peopled equally by (a) sincere but deluded searchers after gold who, by accident, discovered elements, compounds and techniques; and (b) rogues who pretended to have discovered the secret of transmutation in order to prey upon the avarice of kings and other men.

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5.2 The occult convention is to deny the reality of the physical aspects of alchemy and to claim that all the texts represent an allegory for the perfection of Man - even including those texts which appear to be describing in straightforward language operations in the laboratory. A rather similar view to this one is the more recent one which views alchemy as a metaphor for the psychological integration and development of Man. It is essentially the occult view translated into more modern and acceptable language.

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5.3 Each of these represents only a partial view of the truth - one side of the coin and each incomplete without the other. Following a discussion of the sources of the alchemical tradition, a synthesis of the views will be attempted.

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6 Sources of the alchemical tradition

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6.1 A number of distinct sources merged together in the first two centuries after Christ to form alchemy as we recognise it today. I do not think that it is yet firmly established that there were influences from China and India present at the birth of Western alchemy. It is certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility, but equally there are many cases of parallelism. These sources were:

6.1.1 Iron Age smithing and metallurgy which provided the practical working tradition.

6.1.2 Egyptian priestly crafts concerned with the winning and working of gold, centred upon the temple of Ptah at Memphis. Also from Egypt came techniques concerned with the formation of substitutes for gold and the papyric recipe collections.

6.1.3 Greek philosophy provided the early theory - especially Aristotle's view of the elements and possible transmutations.

6.1.4 Craft-related and religious mystery rites both linked with .2 reinforced the elements of secrecy.

6.1.5 The final and crucial element was the mystical and philosophic doctrines associated with Hermetic, Gnostic, Neo-Pythagorean and Neo-Platonic literature in the first three centuries of our era.

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6.2 The prime influence was, of course, the doctrines associated with the Corpus Hermeticum and it brought together nascent alchemy under its wing to form one of the Hermetic sciences.

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6.3 The elements contributing to alchemy can be classified, in the tradition of alchemy itself, into soul, spirit and body - religious elements, philosophy and practical techniques respectively, thus:

Soul: mystery rites, priestly crafts.

Spirit: Greek philosophy, Hermetic and Gnostic influences.

Body: Iron Age metallurgy, Egyptian metalworking.

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6.4       The only other major influence on alchemy seems to have contributed to it only at a very much later stage and at a time when alchemy had begun to separate out again into its three constituent parts. This was the highly abstract philosophical speculations of the Kabbalah.

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7 The flowering and decline of alchemy

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7.1 All the above elements came together in the period AD 100-300 in Graeco-Roman Egypt where the first writings on alchemy, by Democritus, Maria the Jewess and Zosimus, appeared.

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7.2 Transmitted via the Arabs, who in turn brought more remote influences to bear, alchemy flowered in Western Europe in the period ad 1200-1600. By the seventeenth century, although the volume of printed publications seemed to indicate that alchemy was still in full flower, in fact it was losing its unity and already the seeds of decay were causing a tripartite dissolution.

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7.3 In the seventeenth century alchemy split into its three constituent parts, each of which had its own influence on later Western civilisation. There were exceptions of course (as with any generalisation) but from then on three strands may be discerned:

7.3.1 The body: the stream which led into natural philosophy and modern chemistry. From alchemists such as J. B. van Helmont, Starkey, Sennert and Glauber it led to scientists such as Boyle, Locke, Newton and the Royal Society.

7.3.2 The soul: the religious and mystical influence. From alchemists it passed into Christian mysticism (by means of which it had a very wide if somewhat more diluted influence), millenary movements and the Rosicrucians. The key names in this tradition are Khunrath, Maier, Boehme, Andreae, F. M. van Helmont, Webster and Fludd.

7.3.3 The spirit: the philosophical influence on the Enlightenment via Locke and Newton.

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7.4 It can be seen from the charts in Shay (item 2271), from which this fruitful analysis has been largely drawn) just how pervasive was the influence of alchemy on Western thought. An examination of this bibliography will show that Shay's charts show only a portion of the story. It is clear, too, from the recent researches by Yates, Rattansi and others that Newton and the Royal Society played a key role in both acting as a focus for alchemical and Hermetic influences generally and for transmitting these influences.

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7.5 Today there is a real revival of interest in alchemy. Scholarly journals, popular and reprint publishers have never been busier in publishing articles on the influences of alchemy, popular books and reprints of nineteenth-century (and earlier) texts and commentaries. This bibliography does not, as explained earlier, provide a full picture of the reprint activity. A glance at the Subject guide to Books in Print shows an ever-increasing volume of entries under the heading 'Alchemy'. The most prominent interpreter in recent times was, of course, Jung and there are few books of his (or about him) which do not include some references to alchemy.

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7.6 Primary texts, too, are still published. In recent years books by Fulcanelli, Barbault and Frater Albertus have been published in the UK, whilst it surely can only be a matter of time before Cockren's book is reprinted. The potential for fraud, however, is as great as it ever was and the writings of some self-proclaimed alchemists must be treated very cautiously.

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7.7 The strength of the alchemical tradition thus still shows through. Its influ­ence on so many scientists, artists, writers and philosophers is dissected still - often with much puzzlement. How can this pseudo-science have been so important in the lives of such diverse personalities as Blake and Newton, Goethe and Berdyaev, Jung and Spinoza, Schopenhauer and Coleridge, Joyce, Yeats, Vaughan, Rimbaud and Kepler?

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7.8 On a more personal note, one of the pleasures of compiling this bibliography has been the way that serendipity has played its part. References to alchemy would occur in the most unexpected places (such as Russell's History of Western philosophy) and in works which I was reading or re-reading without any thought of the bibliography. The experience was akin to that described by Graves. One of the most interesting references (which does not in fact appear in the biblio­graphy since it, really, was only said by one of the characters in passing) occurs in Hesse's Glass bead game. It is significant that in this intensely spiritual novel, the only important addition made to the Game was the incorporation of elements from alchemy.

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8 The significance of alchemy

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8.1 Any interpretation of a great Mystery, particularly one which has not been experienced at first hand, can in the last resort only be a personal statement of belief which perhaps says as much about the writer as it does about the subject. This interpretation is syncretic, as is the bibliography, and is not fully documented. I believe however that the statements can be justified by the literature of alchemy - although to be honest, so could many other interpretations since the literature is highly symbolic and ambiguous.

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8.2 The interpretations put forward in the past - physical, mystical or psycho­logical seem to me to be half-truths only. In order to arrive at a satisfactory interpretation, it is necessary to start at the beginning with some broad philo­sophical/religious assumptions:

8.2.1 that there is Something.

8.2.2 It is essentially indescribable since it is utterly beyond human experience. Those who have made some sort of contact (usually called 'mystics') have suffered from the difficulty therefore of describing in ordinary language that which is ineffable. They have thus needed to use a wide variety of terms and concepts, metaphors and analogies. In spite of this and regardless of culture, there are certain common themes (which are fully documented by Huxley in his Perennial philosophy) which makes it fairly certain that they are all talking about the same thing.

8.2.3 Some of the Names for this experience include God, Nirvana, Tao or (Boehme's word) Ungrund. The language used needs be allusive and meta­phorical. Some use the language of human love. In some descriptions the concept of a Way is used. Sometimes the concept of human perfectability is used and at others the merging of the human soul with the Something. To some writers it is immanent, to others transcendent.

8.2.4 If we add to this background, a belief both in the reality of the physical universe and matter and in the reality of the laboratory activity of alchemy, then a synthesis is possible.

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8.3 Alchemy then represents one language which attempts to describe It, or, alternatively, one Path or Way allied to those other paths represented by the symbols of the Tarot or the Kabbalah, ie a member of the group of Ways associated with gnosis rather than the Ways of faith or works.

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8.4 Many other Ways deny the reality of the physical world and decry the physical phenomena which seem to be allied with spiritual development. The uniqueness of alchemy lies in the fact that it seems to be only Way which inte­grates the physical and the spiritual, recognising that one cannot exist without the other. Mind and body are part of the same Reality and emphasis on one without the other leads, if the physical is emphasised, to the 'puffers' or, if the spiritual is emphasised, to the rather sterile speculations of spiritual alchemy. Perfection of the soul can only be achieved by the simultaneous perfection of physical metals, which can only be achieved by one with a perfect soul (a classic case of 'bootstrapping'). Ripley's Twelve Gates represent at one and the same time a sequence of laboratory operations and a sequence of spiritual exercises. Only if they are performed together will success be achieved in the Great Work.

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8.5 Ore et labore. In alchemy, Prayer and Work are in harness to draw the soul to perfection.

Ora, Lege, Lege, Lege, Relege, Labora, et Invienies

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The arrangement and layout of the bibliography

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Overall arrangement

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The Bibliography is divided into three major sections:

A.            Alchemical texts

B.            Secondary works (countries)

C.            Secondary works (subjects).

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Section A (alchemical texts) has been subdivided into countries which are ordered by means of a modified version of the country codes used in the Univer­sal Decimal Classification (UDC). In some cases more than one country has been included within a code.

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Section B includes all secondary works about alchemy and related topics which could be allocated to a particular country. These also have been arranged by the same modified version of the UDC country codes. Thus to a large extent Sections A and B form two parallel sequences.

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Section C includes all secondary works which were not related to any one country but are subjects of a more general nature. These have been arranged by modified UDC class numbers with the very general items on alchemy appearing at C0.

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The final, very small, section consists of some references which were so in­complete that they could not be placed in any of the main groups.

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Within each section, the arrangement is alphabetical by author's surname or by the first significant word of the title, if there is no author.

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Each unique item has been separately numbered with the major versions being collected at the same number using a decimal notation, eg items 197.1 to 197.5 represent five versions of Norton's Ordinal.

The thesis from which this book developed had, originally, two sequences. A shortage of time had necessitated typing some entries before all the data had been collected. For this book the second sequence has been merged into the first using lower case letters as an intercalation device, rather than renumbering the whole sequence. Entries in the index have, of course, all been changed.

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Examination of items

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Most of the items listed in the bibliography have been examined in at least one edition. Those which have not are clearly indicated by means of the symbol * appearing in front of the item number. In some cases the reference given to an item in another work was so incomplete that it was not possible to identify it fully or to trace it. These very incomplete references have been included in the bibliography for the sake of comprehensiveness. It is quite possible however that these items may not actually exist and notes have been made in one or two cases where there is strong evidence that this is the case. It is also possible that some of the items which have not been examined are not, in fact, relevant to the subject matter of the bibliography.

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Content of each entry

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Each entry in the bibliography consists (subject to the comments on completeness above) of a full bibliographic citation to the particular version of the work that was examined. Some more detailed comments on the various parts of the citation follow:

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Author The generally known form of the author's name has been used in each case, eg 'Paracelsus' rather than 'Hohenheim, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von.'

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Title In general a full transcription of the title-page has been given, omitting only mottoes and the author's name and honorifics. Any omissions are signified in the usual fashion by... where these refer to textual omissions. In some cases, particularly with older material, descriptive comments about the author, eg 'Philosopher by fire' have been left in. The title-page transcription has been modernised only by following the modern practice of using lower case letters throughout (except for proper names and references to titles of other works). In all other respects (human error permitting!) the title is as it appears on the title-page.

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Imprint For both older and more modern works, the imprint has been separated out from the rest of the title-page in line with current practice. For older works the title-page has been followed precisely (including punctuation) whilst for modern works the imprint is given in a slightly more stylised fashion, omitting London as a place of publication, eg:

Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976.

New York: Wieser, 1977.

London, printed by A. Clark, for Tho. Williams at the Golden Ball in Hosier-Lane, 1674.

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Collation In general, detailed collations are not given. Only the last Arabic numbered page is given except for older works where there may be several sequences of pagination relating to different works. In these cases, the last page number of each sequence is given.

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Journal references Journal and other serial references are given in the usual format of:

Title [series number] volume number (part number) day month and year of publication, page numbers. Eg:

Ambix 9 (2) Jun 1961, 70-101.

Notes & Queries [8] n (280) 8 May 1897, 363-364.

Annual publications which do not have part numbers have the year of publica­tion placed in brackets after the volume number, eg:

Trans Roy Hist Soc 5 (1922), 28-70.

In some cases it has not been possible to provide the fullest reference, eg: in some bound volumes where the part number or the date cannot be determined. In these references, the missing items have been omitted. In those cases where the item was not seen (indicated by * before the number) bibliographic details are as given in the source of the reference and may be incomplete. Where articles extend across a number of issues of a journal, ibid has been used to avoid needless repetition of as much of the journal reference as possible -usually the title and volume number, eg:

Theosophist 2 (1) Oct 1880, 18-20; ibid (3) Dec 1880, 60-61.

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Book references A number of books have been analytically indexed for papers and other items appearing in them. These are listed on page 15 and the format used is:

Debus i, 201-220

ie pages 201-220 of volume 1 of the work abbreviated as Debus. The use of the roman figures i and ii to refer to the volume numbers of books is common throughout the bibliography. Articles which appear in other books of collected writings (eg conferences or Festschriften) are given in the form:

In: M.-S. Rostvig et al The hidden sense and other essays (Oslo: Universitetforlaget, 1963), 1-112.

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Editions This bibliography does not attempt to provide full information on all editions of a work. In the course of compiling the original thesis, I tried to see one version at least of any work. Inevitably, because the work was carried out in England, this tended to be the English edition. Information was collected on other editions (from such sources as Ferguson, the British Museum and British Library catalogues and the National Union Catalog) and these have been noted (together with any major title changes) - although in less detail.

For older works there is often some dispute over the existence of editions and this has been indicated by the use of question marks, eg:

Also editions of 1656, 1670(?) and 1671.

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Annotations Annotations have been used very sparingly to comment on a book or to clarify its position in the bibliography.

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Contents Considerable use has been made, on the other hand, of contents notes to list the major works and sections within alchemical texts, together with their page numbers. In many cases full transcripts of additional title-pages are given, in others partial ones are given noting any differences from the main title-page.

For more modern works not directly concerned with alchemy, the contents note will indicate the relevance of the work eg to Percival's William Blake's circle of destiny (item 1050a) is added the note 'Chapter X: Alchemical symbo­lism pp. 197-215'.


Theses An effort has been made to include theses in the bibliography. For those theses which have been reported in Dissertations Abstracts, the University Microfilms order number has been given at the end of the citation in the format (DA74-12345).

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[In the original printed edition, a list of the abbreviations of analytically indexed books appeared here. I have omitted this, as the full references are given in the current bibliography.


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Major sources searched

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The appearance of the sign † against a title indicates that the item has been comprehensively searched, either via the index or on a page-by-page basis. In many cases, very limited runs of the journals are held in UK libraries and searching has had to be restricted to the issues that were available.

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†Adkins, N. F. Index to early American periodicals. Readex Microprint, 1968

†tAllibone, S. A. A critical dictionary of English literature . . . 1859-

†A.L.A. index ... to general literature. 1901. Supplement, 1914


American Catalog/U.S. Catalog 1876-1928

Annals of Medical History

Annals of Science

Annual Literary Index]Annual Library Index 1892-1910

Annual Magazine Subject Index


AnubisjOut of the Silence

Archives Internationale d'Histoire de Science/Archeion

Ars Quatuor Coronatorum

Art Index

Aryan Path


Astrologer/Astrologers Magazine/Modern Astrologer

Atlantis Quarterly


†Besterman, T. World bibliography of bibliographies, 4th ed

Bibliographic Index

Bibliographie de la littérature française ed R. Rancoeur

Bibliographic de la littérature française du Moyen Age à nos jours

Bibliographie der Franzosischen Literaturwissenschaft

Bibliographie internationale de I'Humanisme et de la Renaissance

Bibliography in Britain

Bibliography of the history of medicine (NLM)

Books in Print: Subject Guide


British Humanities Index

British Journal for the History of Science

†British Museum Subject Catalogues—printed volumes and microfilm

British National Bibliography

Bulletin of the Department of the History of Medicine, Osmania Medical


Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Bulletin of the Indian Institute for the History of Medicine

Bulletin Signalétique             390: Psychologie

519: Philosophie

522: Histoire des sciences et techniques

523: Histoire et science de la litterature

524: Sciences du langage

527: Sciences religieuses

530: Art et archéologie

Canadian Index to Periodicals


Catholic Periodical Index

The Channel

Chemical Abstracts t


Ciba Symposia

Ciba Symposium

Clio Medica

Co-Mason/Speculative Mason

Comité Beige d'histoire des sciences. Notes bibliographiques

Congrès International d'Histoire des Sciences

Conjuror's Magazine/Astrologers Magazine and Philosophical Summary

†Cotgreave, A. A contents-subject index to general and periodical literature

Crawford, W. R. A bibliography of Chaucer 1954-1963. 1967

Cumulative Book Index

Cumulative Dissertations Index

Current Work in the History of Medicine

Dissertations Abstracts International A, B, & C

Ebisch, W. A Shakespeare bibliography. 1931 & 1937

†Eleusinian Society. Transactions

Equinox} Equinox of the Gods

Eranos Jahrbuch

Eranos Yearbooks

The Esoteric

Esoteric Review

Essay and General Literature Index

Eye of Horus/Aurora


Fate and Fortune

Freemasons' Monthly Magazine

†Griffith, D. D. Bibliography of Chaucer 1908-1953. 1953

Guide to Catholic Literature

Harbinger of Light

Hazlitt, W. C. Bibliographical collections and notes on early English


†Hazlitt, W. C. Handbook to the popular, poetical and dramatic literature of


†Henning, H. Faust-bibliographie. 1966-

History of Science

Horizon/PRS Journal


Index-catalogue of the library of the Surgeon-Generals office

Humanities Index

I See for You

†Index Islamicus

Index Medicus 1879-1927, 1960

Index to New Zealand Periodicals

Index to Religious Periodical Literature

Index to South African Periodicals

Indian Journal for the History of Medicine

Indian Journal for the History of Science

The Initiates and the People


International Congress for the History of Medicine

International Medieval Bibliography

Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur Abt B

I sis

Isis Bibliographies

Jacob Boehme Society Quarterly

Jaggard, W. Shakespeare bibliography. 1911


Japanese Studies in the History of Science

Journal of Chemical Education

Journal of the History of Biology

Journal of the History of Ideas

Journal of the History of Medicine

The Key


Library of Congress Catalog, Books: Subjects/National Union Catalog


Light and Life

Light of the East

Lucifer/Theosophical Review

Manchester Association for Masonic Research. Transactions

Masters Abstracts

Medical History

Metaphysical Magazine/Intelligence

Modern Astrology

Modern Mystic


Monthly Index to Periodicals

Music Index

Mystical World

National Library of Medicine catalog

New Dimensions

New Occult

†Nineteenth century reader's guide. 1944

Notes and Queries

Occult and Biological Journal

Occultist\Occult Magazine

Occult Observer

Occult Review

Occult Truths

Open Court


The Path (London)

The Path (New York)

Peddie, R. A. Subject index of books . . .

Pharmacy in History

†Poole's Index to periodical literature


Psychological Review

Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus

Quarterly Cumulative Index to Current Medical Literature

The Quest

Readers Guide to Periodical Literature

Renaissance News/Renaissance Quarterly

Repertoire d'Art et d'Archéologie

Retrospective index to theses

Review of Reviews Annual Index of Periodicals & Photographs

Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie

RosicrucianjRosicrucian and Masonic Record

Rosicrucian Digest

Rosicrucian Society of England. Transactions of the Metropolitan College

Science Citation Index


The Seer

Shrine of Wisdom

Smith, G. R. A classified Shakespeare bibliography. 1963

Social Sciences and Humanities Index

Social Sciences Citation Index

Social Sciences Index


Straggling Astrologer of the nineteenth century

Studies in the Renaissance

Theosophic Thinker/Thinker

Theosophical Path

Theosophical Quarterly

Theosophical Society            Transactions of the London Lodge

Phoenix Lodge Transactions

Occult Scientific and Literary papers read at the Scottish Lodge

Transactions of the Scottish Lodge

Science Group Journal/Research Centre Journal

Theosophist/Adyar Theosophist/Theosophist

Theosophistj World Theosophist



TPS/Theosophical Siftings

Unknown World

Unseen Universe

The Vahan


Weimann, K.-H. Paracelsus-bibliographie 1932-1960. 1963

The Word

†Writings on British history 1901-1957

Years work in English studies


© 1980 and 2007 Alan Pritchard