The Alchemical Society, a unique institution in the English-speaking world of its day, provided a forum for a wide spectrum of people – scientists, historians, occultists and mystics, who shared a common interest in the subject – to meet and debate the various facets of alchemy.
Along with the fascinating papers delivered at the society’s meetings and their subsequent discussions, the present edition contains all of the material contained within the Journal, including book and periodical reviews, reports of each meeting, the ‘Constitution and Rules’ of the society, lists of officers, and the original index (for reference to the original issues). together with a list of advertisers in the journal.
These are supplemented by new supporting material, in the form of an historical introduction, brief biographies of all of the contributors, a bibliography of their relevant publications, a brief annotated list of recommended further reading, and a general index. A number of illustrations have also been added to the occasional diagrams of the original text, including portraits, facsimiles and views of the society’s two meeting places.
In addition, there is a Foreword by Professor Mark Morrisson, who deserves praise as the first historian of science to make real use of The Journal of the Alchemical Society, in the preparation of his book Modern Alchemy: Occultism and the Emergence of Atomic Theory (2007). Others will now more easily be able to follow in his footsteps.