A Magical World

A Magical World

by Derek K Wilson


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Spanning some of the most vibrant and fascinating eras in European history, Cambridge historian Derek Wilson reveals a society filled with an ardent desire for knowledge and astounding discoveries—and the fantastic discoveries that flowered from it. Thinkers were drew from surprising intellectual traditions: some from folk religion, which in its turn had deep roots in a pagan past; others referred to spirits or tapped into stores of ancient wisdom and herbal remedies. This was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations. Even the mighty Catholic Church, which permeated all elements of life, had its own "magical" traditions.In 1663, the Royal Society in London received its charter. Just three years later, the French Academy of Sciences was founded, and other European capitals rapidly followed suit. In 1725, the word "science" was at last defined as "a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified." Yet just nine years before, the last witch had been executed in Britain. Fascinating and thought-provoking, A Magical World is a reminder of humanity's paradoxical nature—our passionate pursuit of knowledge alongside deep-rooted fears, superstitions, and traditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643131467
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,210,013
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Derek K. Wilson is one of Britain's leading popular historians and is a highly regarded expert on the Tudor period. His previous history books include Charlemagne (Doubleday), The Uncrowned Kings of England (Basic Books), and Peter the Great (St. Martin's). This is his first novel to be published in America. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Introduction: '42' vii

Chapter 1 New wine and old wineskins 1

Chapter 2 A magical world 23

Chapter 3 Re-evaluation 43

Chapter 4 Heavens above? 71

Chapter 5 Medicine men 91

Chapter 6 Seeing may be believing 113

Chapter 7 Confusion 147

Chapter 8 I think - so what? 173

Chapter 9 The religion of doctors 199

Chapter 10 Spreading the word 217

Chapter 11 Day star of the Enlightenment 243

Chapter 12 Avant le deluge 257

Bibliography 291

Index 299

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