Talk about an early Yule gift; Createspace saw fit to finally accept and process this submission two months later; I have to assume whoever had it on hold quit their job or there was a glitch in the system.
This short work is alchemical in nature; it appears to adapt and retell “A Work of Saturn” by Hollandus and describes the crafting and augmenting of the philosophers’ stone to create elixir- a sort of metallic substance that melts like wax at low heat (or in contact with silver) and can be dissolved in wine or injected into wounds- that this substance is a sort of mercurial compound renders it perhaps less favorable in modern medicine, although I suppose it could destroy infections.
This work is quite interesting; written by Edward Kelly (sometimes spelled ‘Kelley’) while he was under imprisonment (either for murder or for failing to make gold using alchemy!) it is a discourse proving, he believes, several alchemical principles he held at the time, by referring to other parties’ works; philosophers, alchemical authors, and works of alchemy of both known and unknown origin; the Rosary, the Turba, and many others.
The main overarching principle is quite clear and not veiled at all, possibly because Kelly wished to escape the dungeons of Rudolph II: That gold, silver, and mercury, and those in their elemental forms, are the only materials used within the main great work of alchemy. Kelly allows one exception; the work of Saturn, the creating of elixir using lead and/or antimony a-la Hollandus. Under duress, or apparently so, Kelly created a short but monumentally clear work containing little of the ambiguity of most contemporary chemical works.