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The Study Of Alchemy Today

Miriam bat Isaac is my fictional detective pursuing the study of alchemy. Modeled after the most celebrated alchemist of her time, Maria Hebrea, my Miriam, in The Deadliest Lie, explains to her aunt what alchemy is:

“Alchemy is the search for both material and spiritual perfection. Judah and his father are interested in perfecting metals. By transferring the appropriate vapor to a base metal like copper, they hope to transmute it into gold. I’m interested in perfecting not only the body and spirit of metals but the body and spirit of humans as well… One principle of alchemy, Auntie, is Aristotle’s Unity of Nature, that all things, whether animal, vegetable, mineral, or human, are variant forms of the same vital substance. That’s why learning about one can teach you about everything else.”

Every once in a while, I look over the latest issue of Ambix, a journal on the history of science with a focus on alchemy. Sure enough, I found an article on alchemy. So, the study of alchemy lives on, no longer to synthesize gold but to understand the evolution of human thought.

In The Deadliest Lie, studying alchemy becomes the basis for a romance between Miriam and Judah while the theft of some alchemical documents takes Miriam on a frantic search into the underbelly of her great city. Feel the tension as you race with Miriam to discover who took them. Just click here.


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