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John Dee of Mortlake, by Nicholas Dakin

Reviewed by John Rimmer

[Snip] Searching for ‘John Dee’ on Amazon brings up over 600 books by or about him. Many of these are detailed historical monographs, or attempts to understand and explain the details of his mystical and philosophical thought. And there are, indeed, some very interesting and readable biographies.

Nicholas Dakin’s book is not specifically a biography of John Dee (1527 – 1609), although it does give a broad outline of the life of this incredibly complex character. Nor is it an exposition of Dee’s occult beliefs, his mathematical work or his philosophical system. Rather it is a straightforward explanation of why John Dee is important and why Mortlake should honour the memory of its greatest resident.

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