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Frances Yates and the Hermetic Tradition

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  15 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This is the first full-length biography of British historian Frances Yates, author of such acclaimed works as Giordano Bruno and The Hermetic Tradition and The Art of Memory. Jones's book explores Yates' remarkable life and career and her interest in the mysterious figure of Giordano Bruno and the influence of the Hermetic tradition on the culture of the Renaissance. Her r ...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Ibis Press
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Lissa Notreallywolf
Feb 07, 2012 Lissa Notreallywolf rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
It was fascinating to find out the details of this eccentric historian's life. Jones does a good job of tracing the themes in Yate's concern with Pansophism and underground movements to her life which spans both World Wars and continued to the early 1960s.
The biography is somewhat laudatory, and seems to be a preliminary study, acknowledging that far more work needs to be done with the Yates family papers. I was astonished as to how many famous people, (if you collect historian and literary tra
Apr 02, 2012 Candy rated it really liked it
I found this to be one of those strange feelings of reading a biography of someone whose work you are terribly familiar with...but knowing nothing of their personal life it is a surprise to learn any of their struggles becomes so sad.

Frances Yates entire life was dedicated to her family, her parents that is, not ever making her own family but thankfully for us readers...she lived the monkish, nunnish life of the mind. I was sad she never seemed to be in love but she was in love with the act of r
Lauren Albert
While I know of her struggles and unhappiness-es through Jones' narration, her scholarly life still recalls the fantasy of scholarly life I had when young. No harsh schools, no tests (except those testing yourself against your own high expectations)--just reading and more reading broken up by stimulating conversations with other scholars. Certainly no undergraduate teaching, committee meetings or tenure reviews. Then, you write about what most compels you, at your own pace. Independent wealth is ...more
Kara Lindstrom
Feb 16, 2013 Kara Lindstrom rated it liked it
Knowing nothing of the subject, nor her specialty, this book was interesting enough to have me read to completion. I still may not understand what the hermetic tradition is, but I have perspective on the transition in learning/research traditions over the past century through the case-study of one self-educated Victorian holdout in the transition to modern era.
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