A nice email arrives from Anne Reeves of The John Dee of Mortlake Society: there’s an AGM scheduled for Tuesday 19th October 2010 at 8pm at St Mary’s in Mortlake (£5 for non-members, but includes a glass of wine), though you can turn up to chat from 7pm. According to the JDoMS’s newsletter, their guest speaker will be Jenny Rampling, who will give a talk on “Dee the Alchemist“. Rampling is a Wellcome Research Fellow at Cambridge’s Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, is doing a PhD on 16th century intellectual history, and even organized a two day conference on Dee at St John’s last year… so doubtless knows her stuff.
Given that I didn’t know that Dee had any strong connection with alchemy beyond owning a copy of the Voarchadumia (which reminds me that I still haven’t got round to reviewing that here, sorry!), this sounds fairly intriguing. Most of the ‘alchemical-Dee’ literature I’ve seen seems pretty speculative and thin (e.g. I’m far from convinced that the Monas Hieroglyphica is Dee’s alchemical pièce-de-resistance, even if lots of alchemists did appropriate his Prince-like monad), so it should be quite fun.
Oh, and if you can’t wait that long for your fix of Dee-related arcana, she’s also giving a talk at the British Society for the History of Mathematics Autumn Meeting and AGM on 2nd October 2010 in Birmingham, entitled “John Dee and the Elizabethan mathematics of everything“, which focuses more on his Mathematicall Praeface to Henry Billingsley’s (1570) “Elements of Geometrie“. Just so you know! 😉