Magic and Mental Disorder: Sir Hans Sloane's Memoir of John Beaumont edited by Michael Hunter. ISBN 978-0-9551608-4-4; xxvii + 22 pp.; 5 illustrations
This edition presents in full for the first time Sloane's memoir of the Somerset virtuoso and occultist, John Beaumont. The French text is accompanied by an English translation, a full apparatus and a lengthy introduction which elucidates the significance of the text for an understanding of Sloane's attitude to magic and to the magical manuscripts that he so assiduously collected.
As with the Occasional Papers of the Robert Boyle Project, the text of this publication may be obtained as a downloadable PDF file by clicking on the cover image to the left and printing it out. A limited edition of printed and bound copies has also been produced for library deposit and the title therefore given an ISBN.
Sloane was an acquaintance and devotee of Boyle's from his arrival in London in 1683 onwards. Thomas Birch records that Sloane cultivated Boyle's friendship 'by communicating to him whatever occurr'd to himself, which seem'd curious & important, & which Mr Boyle always received with his usual Candour & return'd with every Mark of Civility and Esteem'. Birch also recorded how Sloane told him that Boyle's 'constitution was so tender and delicate that he had divers sorts of cloaks to put on when he went abroad, according to the temperature of the air; and in this he governed himself by his thermometer'.