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Books Fatal to Their Authors

by P. H. Ditchfield

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1895. This work discusses literally hundreds of authors and their writings which were fatal to the authors' careers or reputations. The book arranges the various authors in the following topics: theology; fanatics and free thinkers; astrology, alchemy and magic; science and philosophy; history; politics and statesmanship; satire; poetry; drama and romance; booksellers and publishers; some literary martyrs.

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Our first author who suffered as an astrologer, though it is extremely doubtful whether he was ever guilty of the charges brought against him, was Henry Cornelius Agrippa, who was born at Cologne in 1486, a man of noble birth and learned in Medicine, Law, and Theology. His supposed devotion to necromancy and his adventurous career have made his story a favourite one for romance-writers. We find him in early life fighting in the Italian war under the Emperor Maximilian, whose private secretary he was. The honour of knighthood conferred upon him did not satisfy his ambition, and he betook himself to the fields of learning.



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