“Dr Dee” & The Magic of Medicine

A special  study tour originally developed to coincide with the highly acclaimed exhibition ‘Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee’  at the Royal College of Physicians. This event celebrates the extraordinary collection of works once owned by Dee now contained in the College’s magnificent library. During the course of a day explore the life and legacy of one of Tudor England’s most enigmatic and extraordinary figures.

Discover the remarkable relationship between religion and medicine, magic and cure from before the time of John Dee, the man described as ‘The Queen’s Conjuror’ at the court of Elizabeth I, right up to the presentMagical disc HIGHER RES for print use - © Trustees of the British Museum 800px day.

Begin in the ancient world at the British Museum and conclude with a guided visit to Dee’s ‘lost library’, taking in a fascinating history of healing and believing, the seen and unseen along the way.

Admire objects of divination and diagnosis, uncover the secrets of mummification: an act that married early science with spirituality, witness where Yankee magictransformed modern treatment and faith ‘healing’ gripped the Edwardian world.

Gain an appreciation of the close links throughout time between creed and recovery and learn how what once seemed rational now seems superstitious. 

Sketch of Ship, Annotation by John Dee to Volume II of the Collected Works of Cicero large versionJoin us for a truly magical journey through the history of medicine, science and belief and a glimpse of a fragment what was possibly  Renaissance England’s finest library, once owned by one of its greatest and most mysterious men: the incomparable John Dee.

Lost Library of John Dee - Quintillian - Institutionum oratoriarum, 1540, pp366-367 - copyright RCP and Mike Fear 800px

Event details and how to book…

Start:               British Museum

End:                 Royal College of Physicians


Price:               £30 per person

Duration:       5-7 hours (group dependent)

This event is available for groups only by arrangement with the library of the Royal College of Physicians, for further details contact us at discovermedicallondon@gmail.com 

Click here for more information about the British Museum, directions and a map

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Click here for more information about the Royal College of Physicians, directions and a map



Image credits from top: (1) Royal College of Physicians (2) Trustees of the British Museum (3) &  (4) photographs Mike Fear (c) Royal College of Physicians