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STARKEY, George (1627--1665)
A true light of alchymy. Containing, I. A correct edition of The marrow of alchymy, being a celebrated experimental treatise, discovering the secrets and most hidden mystery of the philosophers elixir, both in theory and practice. II. The errors of a late tract, called, A short discourse of the quintessence of philosophers, wherein is pretended to be set forth, how one select person might be made partaker of it by the authors means, and others rightly directed in prosecuting that study. III. The method and materials pointed at, composing the sophick mercury, and transmuting elixir, inplain terms, free from all enigma's. The like never before emitted to the world.
London: printed by I. Dawks for the author, 1709.
[6], 97, [1] p. ; 15.3 cm. (12º)

In verse. Pages 1--88 contain 'The Marrow of Alchymy' by Eirenaeus Philoponos Philalethes, a pseudonym for George Starkey; the Wellcome Library attributes it to Michael Sendivogius as an abridged verse translation of his Novum lumen chymicum, 1608. The second part of 'The Marrow of Alchymy' has a separate dated title-page, but text and register are continuous. Starkey was a member of the circle of Samuel Hartlib which included Robert Boyle; his "sophic mercury", identifiable with Boyle's "incalescent mercury", was an amalgam of antimony, silver and mercury which dissolved gold and formed dendritic crystals, intended to create the legendary philosopher's stone. Starkey created a number of pseudonym/alter egos, the chief of which was Eirenaeus Philalethes, under which name his manuscripts were circulated and eventually printed (mostly posthumously); he was highly regarded by Newton, some of whose theories owe a debt to Starkey (ODNB). A copy of this work from Newton's library is now in Cambridge University Library. The final page contains an advertisement for a 'Cure for the Cramp, Piles, or Hemorrhoids, and some other Diseases, by the famous Sympethetical Rings, ... Sold by W. Langham, Licensed Physician, ...'. ESTC t105861; Ferguson II, pp. 474--476.

Copy Notes Extensive MS. notes and page references to this work and to Juncker in ink on all endpapers; underlinings and marginalia throughout.

Binding C18th sheep, blind double-ruled borders, C19th red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 1110


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