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Alchemy Book Reviews & Suggestions

Poimandres

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Sep 21, 2009
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In terms of must haves...there are two books that stand out in my library.

1. Rene Guenon "Symbols of Sacred Science"
2. Julius Evola "The Hermetic Tradition"

Hands down some of the most influential books in my present work. Both are very dense, rather verbose, and definitely not "easy" reads... but as far as I am concerned, they are pure Gold!
 

Opus Magnum

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I would recommend only authors who did IT!

Did what? Made Philosopher's Stone? If so, I'm agree with you. If the author have so many good info about the stone, why didn't he make it? I prefer books which authors are something like Flamel.
 

Awani

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solomon levi

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There's a lot of books that cover different angles on alchemy.
Here are some of my favorites:

For beginners, a good history is nice to have. There are lots of good
books written on specific alchemists or Jewish alchemy or Indian alchemy,
etc. So for a nice intro I'll list three:
"Alchemy and Alchemists" by Sean Martin
"Alchemy" by E.J. Holmyard
"Alchemy" by Titus Burckhardt

There's also a couple "coffee table" type books that fall into that last category:
"Secrets of the Alchemists" by the editors of Time-Life books
"Alchemy, the Ancient Science" by Neil Powell
Another "coffee table" book that is quite broader than just alchemy and
very good is
"The Secret Teachings of All Ages" by Manly P. Hall

For symbols and images:
"The Alchemical Mandala" by Adam McLean
"Alchemy and Mysticism" by Alexander Roob
"Alchemy, the Secret Art" by Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
"The Golden Game" by same as above

There are a couple dictionaries of alchemy you might find useful. I don't
use mine much, but two of them are:
"The Dictionary of Alchemy" by Mark Haeffner
"The dictionary of alchemy" by Diana Fernando

Probably a better dictionary is the one by Antoine Pernety.

On symbols, but in a place all its own, we must include Fulcanelli:
Mystere de Cathedrals, and Dwellings of the Philosophers

For spiritual or inner alchemy, my favorite is
"The Hermetic Tradition" by Julias Evola
Many people like "Initiation into Hermetics" by Franz Bardon
Another one is "Seven Hermetic Letters" by Georg Lomer
Mark Stavish is a practical alchemist who also writes on spiritual subjects.
Another book is "The Tower of Alchemy" by David Goddard (personally
don't care for it).
One that isn't specifically alchemy, but I really like is
"The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order" by Paul Foster Case

Now the Classics:
Besides Fulcanelli,
"The Hermetic Museum" by A.E. Waite
"Triumphal Chariot of Antimony" by Basil Valentine
"Collectanea Chemica" by A.E. Waite
"The Art of Distillation" by John French
"The Great Art" by Antoine Pernety
"Golden Manuscripts" by Frater Albertus
"The Alchemists Handbook" also Frater Albertus
Commentary on Mutus Liber by Adam McLean
Compendium of Alchemical Processes - anonymous
and my personal favorite:
18th Century Chemistry as it Relates to Alchemy

RAMS digital library is a must!

Recent contemporary practical alchemists:
Robert Alan Bartlett - "Real Alchemy" and "The Way of the Crucible"
The Weiser concise guide to Alchemy by Brian Cotnoir
Complete Idiot's guide to Alchemy by William Hauck
One of the best IMO is "The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy" by Manfred Junius

You might want to get a good herbal:
Culpepper's is very popular and has astrological assignments.
Weiner's Herbal is a good one also IMO.

You might want to study astrology.

You might want to study Hermeticism:
"The Kybalion" and "The Hermetica" are good works

Also a nice book on rocks and minerals that gives you their composition.
I like "A Pocket guide to Rocks and Minerals" by James Lagomarsino

An understanding of chemistry and the periodic table is helpful.
Also one of those big fat CRC handbook of chemistry is handy for pH,
boiling points, melting points, chemical compositions, solubility, etc...


I think that about covers it. ;)
 
Last edited:

Opus Magnum

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Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
46
There's a lot of books that cover different angles on alchemy.
Here are some of my favorites:

For beginners, a good history is nice to have. There are lots of good
books written on specific alchemists or Jewish alchemy or Indian alchemy,
etc. So for a nice intro I'll list three:
"Alchemy and Alchemists" by Sean Martin
"Alchemy" by E.J. Holmyard
"Alchemy" by Titus Burckhardt

There's also a couple "coffee table" type books that fall into that last category:
"Secrets of the Alchemists" by the editors of Time-Life books
"Alchemy, the Ancient Science" by Neil Powell
Another "coffee table" book that is quite broader than just alchemy and
very good is
"The Secret Teachings of All Ages" by Manly P. Hall

For symbols and images:
"The Alchemical Mandala" by Adam McLean
"Alchemy and Mysticism" by Alexander Roob
"Alchemy, the Secret Art" by Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
"The Golden Game" by same as above

There are a couple dictionaries of alchemy you might find useful. I don't
use mine much, but two of them are:
"The Dictionary of Alchemy" by Mark Haeffner
"The dictionary of alchemy" by Diana Fernando

Probably a better dictionary is the one by Antoine Pernety.

On symbols, but in a place all its own, we must include Fulcanelli:
Mystere de Cathedrals, and Dwellings of the Philosophers

For spiritual or inner alchemy, my favorite is
"The Hermetic Tradition" by Julias Evola
Many people like "Initiation into Hermetics" by Franz Bardon
Another one is "Seven Hermetic Letters" by Georg Lomer
Mark Stavish is a practical alchemist who also writes on spiritual subjects.
Another book is "The Tower of Alchemy" by David Goddard (personally
don't care for it).
One that isn't specifically alchemy, but I really like is
"The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order" by Paul Foster Case

Now the Classics:
Besides Fulcanelli,
"The Hermetic Museum" by A.E. Waite
"Triumphal Chariot of Antimony" by Basil Valentine
"Collectanea Chemica" by A.E. Waite
"The Art of Distillation" by John French
"The Great Art" by Antoine Pernety
"Golden Manuscripts" by Frater Albertus
"The Alchemists Handbook" also Frater Albertus
Commentary on Mutus Liber by Adam McLean
Compendium of Alchemical Processes - anonymous
and my personal favorite:
18th Century Chemistry as it Relates to Alchemy

RAMS digital library is a must!

Recent contemporary practical alchemists:
Robert Alan Bartlett - "Real Alchemy" and "The Way of the Crucible"
The Weiser concise guide to Alchemy by Brian Cotnoir
Complete Idiot's guide to Alchemy by William Hauck
One of the best IMO is "The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy" by Manfred Junius

You might want to get a good herbal:
Culpepper's is very popular and has astrological assignments.
Weiner's Herbal is a good one also IMO.

You might want to study astrology.

You might want to study Hermeticism:
"The Kybalion" and "The Hermetica" are good works

Also a nice book on rocks and minerals that gives you their composition.
I like "A Pocket guide to Rocks and Minerals" by James Lagomarsino

An understanding of chemistry and the periodic table is helpful.
Also one of those big fat CRC handbook of chemistry is handy for pH,
boiling points, melting points, chemical compositions, solubility, etc...


I think that about covers it. ;)

:eek::eek::eek::eek: thank you :eek: you are very kind
 

solomon levi

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Messages
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You're welcome. :)
You can find a lot of those on line if you don't need the hard copy.
 

solomon levi

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Haven't read it, but didn't know it existed:

http://ormusbook.com/


contributors: Barry Carter, Don Nance and Dennis William Hauck
 

Albion

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Messages
279
Although, as a relative newbie to Alchemy, I am not especially qualified to recommend books, Alchemical Essays, by Ross Mack [which I've read through once] seems to me to be an excellent book from which many who are advanced in the Art would likely gain gems that I am as yet unable to pick up on. Seems to be written by someone who knows what they are talking about. Nice overview touching upon many facets.

[link broken]

_____________________________________________

Review of ALCHEMICAL ESSAYS: The Living Process of Alchemy / Iona Miller, 1-1-09

“The changing of bodies into light and light into bodies, is very comfortable to the course of nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.” ~ Opticks, Sir Isaac Newton

“Ultimately, the Stone should be considered a catalyst to instruct the body code to overcome its inherited weakness and rebuild a better, stronger vital metabolism that is not just self-repairing, but building to an optimal state of health. . .The Stone has the seed of all DNA in an archetypal form and gives the correct, original instructions to the potential new cells. This enables generations of mutation/adaptation of the organism to self-correct.” ~ Dr. Ross Mack


In ALCHEMICAL ESSAYS (Salamander & Sons, 2008), Dr. Ross Mack distills the quintessence of the alchemical art creating a Meta-Syn of philosophers for our time. It can be difficult in such an esoteric subject to transcend language barriers and satisfy both the novice and the accomplished practitioner. But he has done just that in this tastefully-illustrated, well-crafted volume, weaving a tapestry of depth and richness with subject matter elements and process-oriented guidelines. The qualitative Mercury, Sulphur and Salt presented herein make a luminous mixture.

Dr. Mack will cut 20 years off your learning process, raise your aspirations, sooth your troubled soul, and ground your practice in an expanded notion of our ancient art, which is a secret therapy, as well. One reading may lead you to ponder, while another brings a “Eureka” moment, and still another sparks an obsessive quest. Alchemical Essays inspires one to truly seize the noble fruit. He will expand your synergetic consciousness of the heart of the Art and the secret Heart of Nature.

Dr. Mack’s passionate work is a balm for both the experimental and spiritual practitioner. This nonlinear book can be reread in fractal reiterations in its entirety or section by section over a period of years for inspiration on higher octaves. Its symbolism stimulates us at an unconscious level. We all know that revelations have their own mysterious way of emerging once the aspirant and the time are ripe. If you have the drive, Dr. Mack’s directions will give you traction.

The aesthetic approach of art is as inseparable from alchemy as its experimental nature. Alchemy is the soulful language of transformation and transmutation, a way of life rooted in eternal cycles. It is a personal experience of the Laws of Nature that invites the materialization of Wisdom. Energy is matter in volatile form and the natural mechanism of creation. Matter and mankind pass through archetypal transitional states. Alchemy amplifies this process, changing our fundamental psychophysical makeup. Even our failures have value.

Alchemy itself is a prescription for the Nigredo depression, the modern malaise of dark futures and consumer conformity. It defines a perennial frontier where eccentricity elbows out enough room to thrive in unconventional ways of thinking, acting and being, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Alchemy leads us to experiment, break boundaries and transcend categories, including those of science, art and belief. Intuitively knowing more than we know we know, some navigational part of ourselves functions as Mercurial guide.

This magical art connects private consciousness with the unified global field of awareness. The world is animated and all things are interconnected. The spiritual technology of today’s alchemy offsets the alienating effects of modern technology and helps create a totally new environment in the same sense that great art does – a development in the pattern of human experience. Alchemical media widens our experiential field. It offers the perennial promise of rebirth at an enhanced level of functional adaptability.

If you are looking for “Trade Secrets,” you will find many here whose brilliant articulation only come through a lifetime of effort. Mack shares his qualitative perspective on the alchemical memes of our day, including Ormus, life extension, resonance, frequency, fields, dark matter and energy, the ether, energy, DNA, cyclic transformation and the true nature of the Stone. You will also find a deep respect for the living powers of alchemy and an indispensable love of Anima Mundi as the ultimate Soror Mystica.

Imagine, instead of buying a cure at the store that we actually collect all the raw materials required from the ground up, create and assemble our own equipment, make our own chemical ingredients according to the old ways, and draw our own experimental conclusions. The authentic practice of alchemical art requires all that of us, and more. It requires we consciously open ourselves to the Universe and its expansive manifestation mirrored within ourselves. It makes psyche matter.

Mack describes the Minor and Major work in all the alchemical traditions, including Hermetic, Chinese, Indian, Arabic and Islamic. He gives a thorough treatment of Spagyrics and Ayurvedic craft. But this is no dry history, nor list of symbols, nor retelling of parables or outworn myths. His philosophical flights range from the subtleties of New Physics, (such as light, time, superconductors, and Bose-Einstein Condensate), to the practicalities of creating and perfecting one’s lab apparatus. He distinguishes internal, spiritual and plant alchemy, describing various methodology and applications.

It’s not easy to write such hyperdimensional text, even though this form of deep coding was the forte of the alchemists of history. Precisely what separates the modern alchemist from science is a deep and abiding desire for Nature’s enigmatic truths, including emotional, philosophical and spiritual meaning. Unique aspects are part of our personal journey toward individuation, but the operations of alchemy describe the transpersonal milestones we share in the progress of our Great Work. Ultimately, we make the grand experiment on ourselves.

Both artists and alchemists claim a variety of ways of proceeding with their work. The product of each endeavor is an expression of one’s intentional creative effort. Ultimately, there is no recipe for the creative process, which requires the cooperation of the universe to achieve that flow state, but there are means available to foster certain outcomes. Your next correct choice emerges from strengthening your experiential connection to creative source.

Dr. Mack has chosen a stunning menu of alchemical fare that invites the reader not simply to read the recipe but to heartily relish the dish – your own deliciously “cooked” self. These essays cover a select array of notions that enfold the essential aspects of alchemical theory and practice.

Happily, this is a fluid articulation, without the obfuscation of dated language in a presentation that is perhaps one of the best contemporary works of its type. In short, Dr. Mack’s fluent style makes enjoyable reading that speaks to us on the level we are ready to receive, helping us see the invisible world. As base metals are turned into gold, our soul is regenerated. Anyone can attempt to recount the history of alchemy, but it takes a mature practitioner to shed new light on the subject."
______________________________________________

CONTENTS:

Preface, Introduction

Alchemical Essays: Academic Commentators, Affinity, Amalgamation and Marriage, Biological Transmutations, Bose-Einstein COndensate, Chemistry Mindset, Color, Crucibles, Crystals, Dose, Equipment, Ether, Furnaces, Glassware, Humanity and Karma, Internal Alchemy, Laboratory, Living and Non-Living, Magic, Medicinal Gold Salts, Mohs Scale and Mineral Hardness, Pressure, Projection, Red Mercury, Superconductors, Symbols, Theriac, Tin, Trade Secrets

Alchemy of Asia: Ayurvedic Plant-Metal Amalgamations, Chinese Alchemy, Cyclic transformation, Cementation, I Ching, Indian Alchemy, Islamic and Arabic Alchemy, Omar Khayyam

Antimony

Emerald Tablet: Commentary, Myths, Physical Characteristics

Gold: Ormus Elements

Light and Heat: Light, Light and Plants, Effect of Light on Minerals and Metals, Perpetual Lamps, Heat

Philosopher's Stone: Medicine for Man, Medicine for Metals, Little Particulars, Gemstone Method

Plant Alchemy: Solvents, Proof Alcohol, De-Natured Alcohol, Absinthe and Methanol, Commercial Herb Products, Alchemical Plant Medicine

Salt: Salts in the Air, Nitre

Sound and Music: Music of the Spheres, Frequency Hertz

Time: Cycles of Time

Conclusions

Glossary
__________________________________________

Excerpt from the chapter Indian Alchemy:

“Imagine a line from the smallest possible dark matter particle to the largest objects in our Universe. At one end, measure the time it takes for light to travel across the diameter of the minute particle. At the other end, measure the time it takes for super light (faster than light) to travel across the known Universe. These two extremes are our two polarities and spacetime exists between them. If we transform energy into matter by shifting the influence along our imaginary line, we shift its time value and its capacity to hold energy. Depending upon our manipulation of our matter, it can be made to appear in the physical world. This First Matter - the prima materia of the ancients - can be made to appear when energy is no longer able to travel at super light speed. Once this energy is persuaded to slow down, it then acquires weight, specific gravity, density, and all other physical parameters depending upon the instructions given in the process. In other words, matter manifests out of apparent thin air. The search for a particular first vapour of ether is futile, as it appears naturally when needed or directed. The software instructions that dictate the form of the matter is imbedded in both the universal dark matter and the starting metals that the alchemist uses in the work. The concept of universal software is also called the soul.

Natural transmutation is happening all the time, under the direction of the dark matter and various skilled operators. It is not the transformation of one element into another, as science demonstrates in particle accelerators via the bombardment of atomic particles. It is the moment in time and space or the speed of specific energy that slows to a critical speed under direction and manifests as a metal, mineral or anything else. This happens in a moment and in the crucible. All the forms of matter described previously, attained through slow conversion of lesser metals, are legitimate and real. They serve the purpose of education in a safe manner. For those special individuals who are able to fine tune matter at its energetic source, almost no time, money or special equipment is required - just knowledge and correct preparation.

Traditional Indian, siddha and Jain philosophy assumes this position to start. The ancient writers did not desire to bring energy into material form. Any physical manifestations from the subtle worlds they describe are an aberration or artifact. They considered the goal of humans was, or is, to strive to experience and dwell in these highly energetic forms. Through body disciplines, mental control, anatomical rechannelling of vital fluids, and rebuilding of the body, the candidate will achieve harmony between the opposing forces that govern life, and emerge immortal. The need to see transmutations on a physical plane fade away as the understanding of a more energetic place unfolds. The attachment to the human body fades away as the peak physiology is achieved. All of this is done internally in the body and externally in the laboratory. Despite the mighty dialog of the Indian scriptures, including epic battles and love stories, the final goal of these writings is for us to gain perfection of body function and realization of our capacity. Ultimately this is God realization.”
 

Joshua

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Here is a great and fun little alchemically-oriented novel. Sorry. I don't have the text, but here is the audiobook.

http://www.archive.org/details/moon_metal_blb_librivox

Here's the table of contents to wet your whistle.

01 - South Polar Gold

02 - The Magician of Science

03 - The Grand Teton Mine

04 - The Wealth of the World

05 - Wonders of the New Metal

06 - A Strange Discovery

07 - A Mystery Indeed!

08 - More of Dr. Syx's Magic

09 - The Detective of Science

10 - The Top of the Grand Teton

11 - Strange Fate of a Kite

12 - Better Than Alchemy

13 - The Looting of the Moon

14 - The Last of Dr. Syx


I really enjoy alchemically-oriented novels. Anyone have any other good titles to share? Any discussion on this title?
 

Seth-Ra

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Oh wow, i wasnt aware anyone else had listened to that book. I did about a year or so ago - it was a neat little thing. :)

As for other alchemical novels, or novels with alchemical principles - i really enjoyed the Amber Chronicles - its 10 books, sold as one large tome-type book on Amazon, my brother got it for me as a birthday present and i couldnt put it down. There is alot of alchemical meaning in it, with a great story - imo.

Back to this one - i like the description of the "moon metal" - very peacock's tail-ish. ;)



~Seth-Ra
 

Frater IA

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SOOOOO! My wife dragged me into one of those book stores where books are lying haphazardly around EVERYWHERE and it smells of cobwebs and mustyness. I started looking for older texts in english or ancient hebrew, found some stuff that was a mix of hebrew and latin, which is beyond me, then realized that it seemed like some jerks opinions on Dante's inferno. (Really, I think Dante was far more intelligent than people give him credit for, as well I think he was far less serious and intense than people make him out to be)

ANYWAY, I walked away with 4 books. 1 of which has ANYTHING to do with alchemy, but I figured I'd pass on all of it just in case anyone has read the others.

-Rosicrucian Manual from AMORC (what good Frater of my order would be without knowledge of the other orders than influenced his own so greatly)

-Mansions of the Soul from H Spencer Lewis (hmmm, another Rosicrucian text, one I am very interested in diving in to. I've heard it tell you much more about your souls journey)

-The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. (no clue about this one, cover makes it look almost like a childrens story, but, you never know, its written by a Michael Scott)

-Esoteric Rune Magic (it speaks on the back of a 24 rune Futhark, so I figured it can't be TOO copy and paste. Since the 24 rune Futhark is the elder and original, this is where I should be reading in a nutshell)

Love, Truth, and Knowledge my friends
IA
 

scottaleger

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Although, as a relative newbie to Alchemy, I am not especially qualified to recommend books, Alchemical Essays, by Ross Mack [which I've read through once] seems to me to be an excellent book from which many who are advanced in the Art would likely gain gems that I am as yet unable to pick up on. Seems to be written by someone who knows what they are talking about. Nice overview touching upon many facets.

Nice Review about that book , I want to read it.
 

Ilos

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Hello everyone,
I was looking all over the internet, trying to find a PDF file of this book and cant seem to find it.
I was wondering if someone already has it or knows where to find it.
Here is a link to the book.
Liz Greene - The Astrology Of Fate
 

Ilos

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Hey again everyone,
I have this request also
I cant seem to find books of thees authors
Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) and
Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayaan
I have been looking for thees authors but I couldn't seem to find anything
Does anyone know, does there exist anything in English out from thees authors
If anyone has anything please let me know I would really like to find any alchemical writings from them
Thank you
 

z0 K

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Hey again everyone,
I have this request also
I cant seem to find books of thees authors
Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) and
Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayaan
I have been looking for thees authors but I couldn't seem to find anything
Does anyone know, does there exist anything in English out from thees authors
If anyone has anything please let me know I would really like to find any alchemical writings from them
Thank you

Try this link for the works of Geber:
 

Ilos

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Hey Zok
thanks for your suggestion
the book seems interesting, I also found it to read it
:)
 

Ilos

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Last edited:

Krisztian

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My shortlist of books on herbs, ruling planets and their medicinal properties are Mrs. Grieve's A Modern Herbal both volumes; Beyerl's The Master Book of Herbalism; and one should not be without Culpeper's Complete Herbal.

I use these frequently.
 

Ilos

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Hey,
Has anyone read this book I just found it and heard that it is good but I wanted to hear ur thoughts to.
(Anyone wishing to have it, PMme)
A TREATISE ON The Great Art
by: ANTOINE-JOSEPH PERNETY
 

theFool

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"Sal ammoniacus, nusadir und salmiak", written by Julius Ruska, 1923. It deals with sal ammoniac. Written in German language. It has some rare quotes from ancient greek and arabic texts.
 

vega33

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Hey,
Has anyone read this book I just found it and heard that it is good but I wanted to hear ur thoughts to.
(Anyone wishing to have it, PMme)
A TREATISE ON The Great Art
by: ANTOINE-JOSEPH PERNETY

I have this in one in limited edition, its one of the better books on the work IMO, up there with Golden Chain of Homer and Compass of the Wise. A lot of it is compiled from the works of other authors, particularly Pernety's contemporaries, though.