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‘This paradoxall Restitution Iudaicall’: the apocalyptic correspondence of John Dee and Roger Edwardes

Clucas, Stephen (2012) ‘This paradoxall Restitution Iudaicall’: the apocalyptic correspondence of John Dee and Roger Edwardes. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (3), pp. 509-518. ISSN 0039-3681.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2011.12.008

Abstract

Despite the later prominence of apocalypticism in John Dee’s ‘angelic conversations’ in the years 1583–85, his correspondence with Roger Edwardes in 1580 about the correct interpretation of eschatological passages in the bible has received surprisingly little attention in Dee scholarship. In this article I give an account of Edwardes’s ill-fated political career (as the author of manuscripts which he circulated in 1568 and 1579 relating to the Elizabethan Succession issue, for which he was imprisoned), and the apocalyptical writings (concerning the restitution of the Jews) which he sent to divines in England and Germany for validation. These apocalyptical reflections, which Dee called ‘the boke of Domes Day’, were the subject of the Dee–Edwardes correspondence. Whereas the divines with whom he corresponded were largely lukewarm, Edwardes found a sympathetic reader in Dee. I conclude by considering the significance of the Dee–Edwardes correspondence for Dee’s increasingly apocalyptical outlook, which began in 1564 with prophecies concerning the Habsburg dynasty in his Monashieroglyphica, and reached a fever pitch in the 1580s when he began working with the ‘skryer’ Edward Kelley. The careers of Dee and Edwardes have in common a belief in inspired exegesis and prophetic singularity, and I show that one can detect traces of Edwardes’s concern for the redemption of the Jewish people in Dee’s angelic writings.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Apocalypse, Elizabethan succession, Angel magic, prophecy, inspired exegesis, The Jews
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > English and Humanities
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2012 09:43
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2013 09:34
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4535

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