Monday, September 24, 2012
Dr. John Dee, as he appeared in Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), played by David Threlfall. Dee, an Elizabethan magus, was suspected in the times of Catholic Queen Mary and Protestant King James as a conjurer, utilized by Elizabeth as a court astrologer, despised in the Age of Reason as the superstitious dupe of Edward Kelly, idolized by occultists as a master, and finally rehabilitated as a mathematician, expert on navigation, and one of the most learned men of his time by Dame Frances Yates. His appearances abound in speculative fiction. His house at Mortlake contained one of the greatest collections of books in England, including many volumes saved from the sacking of the monasteries; sadly it was looted while he was visiting the continent.