Frances A. Yates (1899–1981) was an English historian. She taught for many years at The Warburg Institute, where she studied the history of esotericism in the West.

IN THE REVIEW

An Alchemical Lear

The Chemical Theatre

by Charles Nicholl
Frances Yates died on September 29. This is one of the last reviews she wrote. We mourn the death of this brilliant and original scholar, a longstanding contributor and friend.—the Editors Among the “renaissances” of the Renaissance one of the most important was the renaissance of alchemy. Like the occultist …

In the Cards

The Game of Tarot from Ferrara to Salt Lake City

by Michael Dummett

Twelve Tarot Games

by Michael Dummett
This very large book is an elaborate history of the game of Tarot, a card game not unrelated to our modern cards, with suits and trumps, but much more complex, using packs of picture cards with strange images. From the fifteenth century this game spread over Europe with variations in …

A Magical Critic

Form and Meaning: Essays on the Renaissance and Modern Art

by Robert Klein, translated by Madeline Jay and Leon Wieseltier, with a foreword by Henri Zerner
Robert Klein was a Rumanian Jew, born in 1918. As was to be expected from this time and place of birth, his life was not an easy one. Before the out-break of the Second World War he studied philosophy in Prague, science in Bucharest. After the outbreak he first did …

The Fear of the Occult

Symphorien Champier and the Reception of the Occultist Tradition in Renaissance France (Berlin/New York)

by Brian P. Copenhaver
When Fontenelle was composing his éloge of Isaac Newton for delivery in the Académie Royale des Sciences, he was able to consult notes by John Conduitt from which he would have learned that one of Newton’s motives in beginning his work in mathematics was to investigate whether judicial astrology had …

The Mystery of Jean Bodin

Colloquium of the Seven about Secrets of the Sublime (Colloquium Heptaplomeres de Rerum Sublimium Arcanis Abditis) annotations, and critical readings by

by Jean Bodin, translated with an introduction, Marion Leathers Daniels Kuntz
The book here presented in translation was once a secret, disseminated in manuscript copies among a few chosen spirits, and referred to with bated breath, if mentioned at all, though it may have been a power in the background, or the underground. It is in fact the Heptaplomeres, written by …

Science, Salvation, and the Cabala

The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine, and Reform 1626-1660

by Charles Webster
In a book published in Italian in 1957 and in English translation in 1968 (Francis Bacon: From Magic to Science), Paolo Rossi drew attention to the millennial aspect of Bacon’s philosophy. He showed by quotation that Bacon thought of his “Great Instauration” of learning as an attempt to return to …

Broken Images

The Reformation of Images: Destruction of Art in England, 1535-1660

by John Phillips
The population of images in medieval England was doubtless more numerous than the scanty population of living human beings. Figured in windows, sculptured in statuary, carved and painted in countless scenes, the images were the close companions of medieval man. From them he learned what he knew of history and …