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Benson Bobrick… Ball demonstrates an exuberant command of the field. The Devil's Doctor, his life of Paracelsus, the innovative Renaissance magus, is very much a life in context. We learn about early mining technology, the history of chemistry, Renaissance education, metallurgy, alchemy, medicine, Neoplatonic and Hermetic doctrine, the traditions of Arabic science, the life of a military surgeon and the internecine warfare of the Italian city-states. We get miniature histories of cobalt and zinc and a beguiling account of the etymology of the word "alcohol." As for the amazing wanderings of Paracelsus himself, Ball tracks him with satellite-like precision all over the known world. To do this, you have to know the geography and history of the period inside out.
— The Washington Post