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Open Access Concluding Thoughts

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Concluding Thoughts

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Chapter Summary

This conclusion chapter of the book has proposed and demonstrated a historiographical approach based on a history of texts in manuscripts, particularly anonyma, guided by textual networks of alchemical poems. It comprises questions in the history of alchemy concerns alchemical expression: terminology, genres, and the non-verbal communication of alchemical lore. The chapter focused on alchemical verse; and author's subsequent work on alchemical images investigates the communication of alchemical practices in non-verbal elements of alchemical manuscripts, and thus translates the approach to other types of alchemical documentation. A final logical step into the future of research is the contextualisation of alchemical writings in the wider world of Middle English literature and culture. With a focus on the characteristics of texts it might be possible to find other criteria which helped these manuscripts' writers and readers navigate their texts, and this will define a strategy for their recovery and analysis.

Keywords: alchemical manuscripts; alchemical verse; genres; historiographical approach; textual networks



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