Lawrence M. Principe is the Drew Professor of the Humanities in the Department of the History of Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. His books include Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
"The Secrets of Alchemy comes closer than any other single work to explaining the grounds-rational and empirical, as well as religious and wishful-for alchemy's longevity. Lawrence M. Principe's delightful writing style brings to life a depth of learning matched by few in the field." (Nature) "An elegant, readable book, packed with information and revelation." (Anthony Grafton, Science) "Lawrence M. Principe has long been at the vanguard of scholars who seek to show that alchemists were really early chemists, not blindly struggling to turn substances into gold but operating, like scientists today, within an intellectual framework that guided their practical work. In The Secrets of Alchemy, an elegantly written summary of two decades of his own research, Principe describes this framework." (Wall Street Journal)"