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"All That Glitters": Martin Lister And Fools' Gold, 1677–1684

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Chapter Summary

Robert Boyle speculated that various effluvia could cause metallogenesis. Jessop's reports on subterranean vapors and Boyle's work on effluvia would lead Lister to synthesize his ideas about mineral vapors, pyrites, and natural phenomena in his De Fontibus medicatis Angliae Exercitatio. In 1684, he also published a series of papers in the Philosophical Transactions, which connected the exhalations of pyrites with the incidence of volcanoes and earthquakes. This chapter will examine his chemical investigations into fools' gold which have been relatively neglected in the literature; for Lister, as for many early modern natural philosophers, chemistry proved a &t;basic analytical tool&t; in natural history.

Keywords: Gold; Martin Lister; Robert Boyle

10.1163/ej.9789004207035.i-478.36
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