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Monstrous AdversaryThe Life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford$
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Alan H. Nelson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236788

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313592

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(p.58) 13 Necromancer
Monstrous Adversary
Liverpool University Press

This chapter details Oxford's involvement in necromancy. Oxford's conjuring seems to have occurred either at the residence of Sir George Howard, Masters of the Armoury, or at the little house by the tiltyard, at Greenwich, perhaps as early as the summer of 1570. The necromancy attributed to Oxford by Howard and Arundel conforms to types illustrated in contemporary documents. Instructions for ‘copulation with a female spirite’ occur in a Folger manuscript dated circa 1580: ‘the maner to maik a bande to bynd the vij sisters of the fayeres’. Oxford is credited with the assumption that the magician's goal is not so much pleasure as knowledge — particularly knowledge of the future.

Keywords:   Edward de Vere, necromancy, magician, knowledge

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