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About the Book

Beyond the Book

336 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 halftones, 1 maps, notes, index

Prospero's America

John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676


In Prospero's America, Walter W. Woodward examines the transfer of alchemical culture to America by John Winthrop, Jr., one of English colonization's early giants. Winthrop participated in a pan-European network of natural philosophers who believed alchemy could improve the human condition and hasten Christ's Second Coming. Woodward demonstrates the influence of Winthrop and his philosophy on New England's cultural formation: its settlement, economy, religious toleration, Indian relations, medical practice, witchcraft prosecution, and imperial diplomacy. Prospero's America reconceptualizes the significance of early modern science in shaping New England hand in hand with Puritanism and politics.

About the Author

Walter W. Woodward is Connecticut state historian and associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut.


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