The Sorcerers Tale: Faith and Fraud in Tudor England

Paperback | October 2, 2010

byAlec Ryrie

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An earl's son, plotting murder by witchcraft; conjuring spirits to find buried treasure; a stolen coat embroidered with pure silver; crooked gaming-houses and brothels; a terrifying new disease, and the self-trained surgeon who claims he can treat it. This is the world of Gregory Wisdom, a physician, magician, and consummate con-man at work in sixteenth-century London. In this book, Alec Ryrie uses previously unknown documents to reconstruct this extraordinary man's career. The journey takes us through the cut-throat business of early modernmedicine, down to Tudor London's gangland of fraud and organized crime; from the world of Renaissance magi and Kabbalistic conjurers to street-corner wizards; and into the chaotic, exhilarating religious upheavals of the Reformation. On the way, we learn how Tudor England's dignified public face and its rapacious underworld were intimately connected to each other. Gregory Wisdom's career is an object lesson in how to conjure up wealth and respectability from nothing in a turbulent age. And it provides a unique glimpse into aworld intoxicated with new ideas, where it was impossible to know quite what to believe - or who to trust.

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From the Publisher

An earl's son, plotting murder by witchcraft; conjuring spirits to find buried treasure; a stolen coat embroidered with pure silver; crooked gaming-houses and brothels; a terrifying new disease, and the self-trained surgeon who claims he can treat it. This is the world of Gregory Wisdom, a physician, magician, and consummate con-man at...

Alec Ryrie studied history at Cambridge, St. Andrews, and Oxford, and is now Reader in Church History at Durham University, specializing in the history of the Reformation. He lives in the Pennines with his wife, son, and cat. The Sorcerer's Tale is his third book.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:October 2, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199570906

ISBN - 13:9780199570904

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Table of Contents

ChronologyForeword1. The Nobleman2. The Physician3. The Underworld4. The Magician5. The Preacher6. Conclusion: Barbarians at the GatesAppendix: Gregory Wisdom's Will

Editorial Reviews

"The book illuminates various shady pathways of Tudor political and social history, and the author lets his story unfold with considerable flair." --BBC Music Magazine. 01/11/2008