By Jason Louv
Queen Elizabeth I’s court advisor was the foremost scientific genius of the 16th century, laying the foundation of modern science. Then teamed up with a disreputable, criminal psychic and things really got rolling.
Dr. John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I’s court astrologer, is a footnote in English history—remembered as a deluded man who believed in angels, an embarrassing relic of a pre-scientific time.
Thanks to an academic renaissance in Dee studies, however, a very different portrait has emerged of Elizabeth’s confidant. Underneath centuries of slander, initiated by the fundamentalists who took power after Elizabeth, may be one of the greatest geniuses in European intellectual history—a man responsible, it seems, for the modern world itself.