The Wellcome Institute is rocking

They’ve got the midas touch. Gin! Magic! They also have quite a following so book up pronto for anything that grabs you. All words from Wellcome btw.

Newton’s last Alchemist: Medicine, Empire and the Birth of Gin

Genever – the first incarnation of gin, created in the Dutch Republic in the early seventeenth century – was instrumental in forging new connections between alchemy and medicine, politics and religion, trade and empire, East and West. In an age of global trade and exchange, this and other distilled spirits captured the imaginations of all kinds of Europeans: gentlemen pursuing natural philosophy in their private closets, physicians seeking new medicines and restoratives, alchemists searching for the elixir of life, and (not least) tradesmen looking to make money from the basic, visceral human drive for intoxication. In this talk we’ll see how two heady, symbolically–charged substances – juniper and spirit – came together in a glass and consumed for health, pleasure and the promise of immortality.

Speaker: Dr Richard Barnett, Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow and author of the Dedalus Book of Gin and Medical London 

11 January 2012, 18.45 – 20.15 

Booking – Tickets free but must be reserved.

Supper Salon: Magic

Traditional magic abounded in the villages of 18th-century England and Wales. Come in from the cold and explore a time of healers, diviners and curse breakers, with Ronald Hutton, historian at University of Bristol and expert on folk magic, over dinner and wine.

Ronald Hutton is a historian of witchcraft and paganism and author of fourteen books on magical and folk tradition in the British Isles, including The Triumph of the Moon and Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain. His interests include Early Modern Britain, British folklore, pre-Christian religion, shamanism and contemporary Paganism.

Delicious food, great company and riveting speakers: our Supper Salons are designed to satiate both mind and stomach. The £25 ticket price includes a two-course dinner, two glasses of wine and coffee.

Speaker: Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol. 

18 January 2012, 19.30 – 22.00, £25


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