NEW Publication: William Lilly: The Last Magician

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 This previously unpublished manuscript provides the reader with an exciting insight into the working methods of the master astrologer.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.

Lilly Magician Cover

 

To access the contents pages, click on the thumbnails below:

prelims 1

William Lilly: The Last Magician is available via Amazon, most bookstores, or may be ordered directly from Mandrake of Oxford. To visit their website, click the thumbnail below:

Lilly Magician Cover

There is also a dedicated Facebook page, which can be viewed and “liked”, following this link:

William Lilly: The Last Magician – Facebook Page

Readers who “like” this page will be notified of any new links to reviews, sample chapters, and more.

 

 

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NEW – Free Books to Download

Free Books to Download

Sue Ward has just uploaded two titles to her web site – http://www.sue-ward.co.uk – under “Books”. These are free of charge, but you are asked to show your appreciation by donating £3.00 to animal welfare charities (use link to payments page). 

The first title is Monster of Ingratitude written by Sue Ward and myself, it is a fully referenced investigation into and account of the well-known enmity between William Lilly and John Gadbury. The real reason for this is presented in detail; suffice it to say that it is not the reason most often given.

The second title is the much better known The Life of William Lilly, Student in Astrology, but this is my transcription from the autograph (his signed manuscript). Sue Ward has been faithful to this manuscript and has added biographical information of the various characters involved and other information. Where she has been able to find them, she has added relevant nativities andher presentation Beyond the Great Fire which looks at the relationship between Lilly and Ashmole among other things. It’s a bumper bundle!

“Monster of Ingratitude” – The Relationship between William Lilly and John Gadbury

Sue Ward and I have just completed a paper entitled “Monster of Ingratitude” which will be published in the forthcoming edition of “The Tradition” journal (due to be released in September).

Scholarship into the history of astrology has improved over the last ten or fifteen years and has brought us a huge amount of information regarding astrology’s development from many perspectives. However, biographical information about those who practiced astrology in centuries past is not of such a high standard. There are several reasons for this, not least an apparent lack of autobiographical material. It was from this point of view that Sue and I examined the relationship between William Lilly and John Gadbury.

This rather large piece of research has taken several months to complete, but still leaves many questions unanswered. However, what we did discover was that those few biographies of William Lilly are markedly flawed. Most researchers rely upon Derek Parker’s “Familiar to All” which, whilst it presents one of the earliest biographical texts about Lilly and which hasn’t been bettered, presents very few sources as grounds for the author’s opinions. Nonetheless, it is those opinions that we find most frequently in subsequent biographies of the astrologers of 17th century England, particularly those of Lilly and Gadbury. Indeed, much of the personal detail regarding Lilly’s life found in Parker, can be found nowhere else. It may be that Parker had access to material unknown to us, but there are no references with which to follow this up. (It may be that a full and detailed review of “Familiar to All” is required in order to test the assertions made there against known sources.)

We have attempted to address these, largely unsubstantiated, opinions and present source material which leads to alternative, and often very different, conclusions. As an example, the main theme of our paper is the infamous contention between Lilly and Gadbury and our research shows that it has been misconstrued by historians throughout. This study has brought to light a number of other doubtful areas relating to Lilly’s contemporaries, too, but our remit precluded going very far with that; we had already far exceeded our original intentions.

The paper contains:

  • brief biographies of the two men;
  • the beginning of their acqaintance and how it came about;
  • how the enmity began, developed and ended;
  • the rather one-sided pamphlet war;
  • others involved in the contention;
  • a study of the published material;
  • all sources of information;
  • alternative conclusions based on the above.

We hope to draw the attention of astrologers to an area which requires far closer attention than it has attracted hitherto, and perhaps encourage others to proceed in this research. Furthermore, we hope to demonstrate that Gadbury’s work is far from reliable and could easily be replaced by that of a better qualified author of the period, such as John Partridge. That is, if astrologers want to investigate the art as it stood post-Lilly and as it collided with the new science.