A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery, Lyndy Abraham


Title: A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery

Author: Lyndy Abraham

Typology: Dictionary

Language: English

Year: 2001 (first edition 1998)

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


Synopsis:”This dictionary documents the rich store-house of alchemical symbolism from the early centuries AD to the late twentieth century, making it available for the use of historians of literary culture, philosophy, science and the visual arts, as well as for those readers with an interest in alchemy and hermeticism. The emphasis is on literary and intellectual references to alchemy in the Western tradition, written in or translated into English. The dictionary focuses most closely on works current in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when alchemy flourished, captivating the minds of some of the greatest figures in the day, from Sir Wlter Raleigh to Isaac Newton. Each entry includes a definition of the symbol, giving the literal (physical) and figurative (spiritual) meanings, an example of the symbol used in alchemical writing, and a quotation from a literary source. Writers cited range from Shakespeare, Milton and Donne to Vladimir Nabokov and P.G Wodehouse. Drawing from the unique holdings of the Ferguson Collection at the University of Glasgow, the dictionary offers a representative selection of fifty visual images (graphic woodcuts, copperplate engravings, or hand-painted emblems), some of which have not been reproduced since they first appeared.”