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From Academic Article to Fantasy Novel: Medieval Alchemy and The Alchemists’ Council

From Academic Article to Fantasy Novel: Medieval Alchemy and The Alchemists’ Council

Paper given by Cynthea Masson

Delivered at Vancouver Island University on 30 September 2016

Alchemy is about transformation. This medieval science sought to find a universal cure for disease, the means to prolong life with an elixir of immortality, and most famously, a method to transform base metals into gold. From the alchemical hermaphrodite to the philosopher’s stone, the language and iconography of alchemy has both fascinated and confused scholars and laypeople for centuries. And it has inspired writers. The transformation of scholarship into fiction is an alchemical process in itself, and the story of that journey a fascinating tale.


Cynthea Masson is a novelist and a Professor of English at Vancouver Island University.

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