John Dee as a cultural hero
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 13:45 authored by Gyorgy E. Szonyi, Rowland Wymer
John Dee, ‘Queen Elizabeth’s conjuror’, as a recent biography has called him, has attracted considerable attention during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries among intellectual historians of the English Renaissance, including historians of science. During the last two decades especially there has been a steady flow of publications. Dee has also featured in a growing body of literary and popular fiction, films, plays, multimedia performances, graphic novels, and operas. The present paper reviews a range of this material and demonstrates that, particularly since the 1960s, the figure of Dee has performed a number of different cultural functions, sometimes appearing more as vulnerable human being than magus, but appealing particularly to those artists who, like Derek Jarman, see him as epitomising a dream of transformative and visionary power with close analogies to the way the creative imagination itself works.
Publication titleEuropean Journal of English Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version