Born less than a year before the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, William Lilly lived during one of the most turbulent times in English history. Like so many of his generation, he had to deal with the plague, was drawn into the madness of the English Civil War and was forced to take sides, and witnessed the regicide of King Charles I. Lilly lived in a time of enormous religious and social upheaval, but his astrology remained the outer expression of a magical world-view, based on hermetic and neo-Platonic principles and rooted in the 16th century.
This book provides the reader with a thorough introduction to the world of William Lilly, the famous 17th century astrologer and magician. It includes his autobiography, transcribed from the autograph, with annotations, commentaries and biographical notes, including Elias Ashmole’s addenda. Nativities of some notable persons are appended.
Also included is the Nativity of Sir William Wittypoole, the transcript of a nativity, rectified and directed by William Lilly. This previously unpublished manuscript provides the reader with an exciting insight into the working methods of the master astrologer.
The book also includes Peter Stockinger and Sue Ward’s Monster of Ingratitude, an investigative journey offering new insights into the notorious contention between Lilly and the astrologer John Gadbury. Included are brief biographies of Lilly and Gadbury, and the results of in-depth research, showing how their enmity began, developed and ended, including details of the rather one-sided pamphlet war. An thorough study of published material, timelines and bibliographic entries of all primary sources used are also included and provide the grounds for a different explanation from that commonly proposed.
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