Using Alchemical Memory Techniques for the Interpretation of Literature

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This study examines the ways in which three seventeenth-century metaphysical poets, Donne, Herbert, and Crashaw, used mnemonic devices from Raymond Lull to express dissenting views of purgatory. Studying three alchemico-Lullian signs - the fiery sword, mercurial tears, and the bloody breast - Dr. Albrecht shows how these poets express purgatory as a place where the process of purification occurs and addressed this idea to both Calvinists and members of the Church of England. This book has thirty black and white photographs.


“This study of these three poets, presented with thorough and careful research, offers a welcome contribution to understanding the pervasive influence of Lullism in early modern literary culture and a guide for future investigations.” - Dr. Mark D. Johnston, Professor of Spanish, DePaul University - Chicago

“Roberta Albrecht’s book on the influence of Ramon Lull (Raymond Lully), a native of Majorca, and the alchemical tradition on early modern culture quite likely will become one of the principal resources for anyone studying not only the work of Donne, Herbert, and Crashaw, but also the intellectual and cultural milieu of the early modern world.” - Professor Helen B. Brooks, Department of English, Stanford University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Helen B. Brooks
1 Donne
2 Herbert
3 Crashaw
4 Mary Magdalen
Select Bibliography

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