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The Elixir And The Stone: The Tradition of Magic and Alchemy [Mass Market Paperback]

Richard Leigh , Michael Baigent
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £8.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2005

Since the seventeenth century, science has been contending with philosophy, organised religion and the arts for domination over Western civilisation and society. By the middle of the twentieth century, the battle appeared to be won; scientific rationalism and scepticism were triumphant. Yet in the last few decades a strong and potent counter-current has emerged. One manifestation of this has been the so-called occult revival.

In the Elixir and the Stone, Baigent and Leigh argue that this occult revival - and indeed the entire revolution in attitudes which has taken place recently - owes a profound debt to Hermeticism, a body of esoteric teaching which flourished in Alexandria two thousand years ago and which then went underground. The authors trace the history of this intriguing and all-encompassing philosophy - which has much in common with contemporary holistic thought - charting its origin in the Egyptian mysteries, and demonstrating how it continued to exercise enormous influence through the magicians and magi of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Many remarkable characters feature in the narrative, including the Franciscan friar Roger Bacon and the Elizabethan magus John Dee; prototype of Shakespeare's Prospero in The Tempest, but he central figure that emerges is that of Faust himself - one of the defining myths of Western civilisation.

The Elixir and the Stone is a remarkably rich and ambitious book that adds up to a little short of an alternative history of the intellectual world. Perhaps for the first time it puts into their true context those shadowy alchemists and magicians who have haunted the imaginations of people for centuries. Moreover it offers a way of looking at the world that is in one sense 'alternative', but, in another, deeply historical.


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (4 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099490021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099490029
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book Description

An alternative history of the intellectual world

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An alternative history of the intellectual world

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You can ignore entirely the person who wrote the review claing that this book is (1) badly written ("painful to read") and (2) does not show any proper sequence of events. Both criticisms are not only nonsense but are worse - they are the exact OPPOSITE of the truth. As a matter of fact the thing most striking thing about this work is its fluent beauty of its "poetic prose" style. It is such a pleasure to read, the words rolling off the tongue like honey. The particular criticism of the word "roseate" in place of "bright" is typically ludicrous - the use of more colourful terms (such as "roseate" in place of the more mundane is called poetry, my friends - it makes reading not more "painful" but infinitely more pleasant. As reagrds criticism two, it is so obviously off-the-mark as to not even require comment or counter-criticism. Read the book and you will see just what I mean.

The Elixir and the Stone is a great book and scholarly work - highly recommended for all students of the Hermetic Tradition.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jury is Still Out 10 Oct 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. I cannot pretend that it was an easy read. It contains a great deal of material and many of the names quoted were new to me. How "true" the conclusions of the writers are is not within my competence to judge. However, the book will make the reader think and want to know more. I would think it is essential reading for anyone interested in any way in the subjects of magic and alchemy.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Elixir and the stone 30 Jun 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had this book recommended by a friend, it arrived promptly and in excellent condition, it was well priced.
Very pleased with my purchase would use this seller again.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, no rating. 11 May 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sorry I cannot rate this book, as I have not read it yet. Apparently I have to give another seven words. Ridiculous.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars covers some aspects that are not discussed very often 13 Mar 2014
By Patrizia Trotta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the author's depiction of Hermetism. Found the section on literature and the arts a bit too long and I would personally have preferred more on Hermetism, but that is just a matter of personal preference. The book is certainly well-written and thought out.
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Book 18 Nov 2013
By Quintao - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent Book. Well investigated, based on historical facts. easy to read, alows you to improve your knoledge and serach for truth.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elixir and the Stone 14 Nov 2012
By Rosemary R. Bishop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, so well researched and written. Scholarly material. It's a classic book that one would want to keep.
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