A Vital Matter: Alchemy, Cornucopianism, and Agricultural Improvement in Seventeenth-Century England

Justin Robert Niermeier-Dohoney
This dissertation investigates the influence of vitalist matter theories and the practical, operational techniques of alchemy on agricultural improvement projects in seventeenth-century England. It argues that the historical territory of alchemy is much broader than many historians of this subject have conceded over the past generation. In fact, among a subset of utopian social reformers in mid-seventeenth-century England, alchemy was both an expansive worldview that explained physical change in the cosmos as well as a...
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