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pt. I. The making of a reputation. Dee's early life : 1527-1553 -- Uneasy times : Dee's fortunes during the reign of Mary : 1553-1558 -- The Queen's philosopher : the apex of a career : 1558-1583 -- Contact with angels and travels abroad : waning fortunes and desperate hopes : 1583-1589 -- Twilight years : broken promises and broken dreams : 1590-1608/9 -- pt. II. The evolution of a reputation. Seventeenth century reception : casting the die -- The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries : a reputations journey from the Age of Reason through the Victorian Age -- The twentieth century to the present day : a reputation revised -- Conclusion: Dee's place in history.
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This work argues that the Elizabethan polymath John Dee was not the influential intellectual he purported himself to be. Dee's scientific works were anachronistic and in no way heralded the new age of experimental science. This book traces the course of Dee's life showing how he was a marginal figure and his works had little lasting value. It also provides a useful historiographical summation of Dee's life and career.
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