research books for A STAR SHALL FALL
The Georgian period

London books


  • Abraham, Lyndy. A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery.
  • Albertus (Frater). Alchemist’s Handbook.
  • Eberly, John. Al-Kimia: The Mystical Islamic Essence of the Sacred Art of Alchemy.
  • Hoke, Jeff. The Museum of Lost Wonder.
  • Holmyard, E.J. Alchemy.
  • Jung, Carl. Jung on Alchemy. Ed. Nathan Schwartz-Salant.
  • Linden, Stanton J. The Alchemy Reader: From Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton.
  • Morris, Richard. The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table.
  • Newman, William R. Promethean Ambitions: Alchemy and the Quest to Perfect Nature.
  • Paracelsus. Four Treatises. Ed. Henry E. Sigerist.
  • Read, John. From Alchemy to Chemistry.
  • Roob, Alexander. Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermetic Cabinet.
  • Webster, Charles. From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science.

Intellectual history

  • Clarke, Norma. Dr Johnson’s Women.
  • Eger, Elizabeth and Lucy Peltz. Brilliant Women: 18th-Century Bluestockings.
  • Gilbert, Adrian. The New Jerusalem: Rebuilding London: The Great Fire, Christopher Wren and the Royal Society.
  • Gribbin, John. The Fellowship: Gilbert, Bacon, Harvey, Wren, Newton, and the Story of a Scientific Revolution.
  • Purver, Margery. The Royal Society: Concept and Creation.

Cometary astronomy

  • Calder, Nigel. The Comet Is Coming: The Feverish Legacy of Mr. Halley.
  • Lancaster Brown, Peter. Halley’s Comet & the Principia.
  • Moore, Patrick and John Mason. The Return of Halley’s Comet.
  • Schechner, Sara J. Comets, Popular Culture, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology.
  • Yeomans, Donald K. Comets: A Chronological History of Observation, Science, Myth, and Folklore.

Isaac Newton

  • Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter. The Foundations of Newton’s Alchemy; or, “The hunting of the greene lyon.”
  • Hall, A. Rupert. Isaac Newton: Eighteenth-Century Perspectives.
  • Manuel, Frank Edward. The Religion of Isaac Newton.
  • White, Michael. Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer.

Faerie lore

Classical mythology

  • Bulfinch, Thomas. Bulfinch’s Mythology.
  • Evslin, Bernard. Gods, Demigods and Demons: An Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology.
  • Hamilton, Edith. Mythology.

Middle Eastern history and culture

  • Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh. Persian Myths.
  • Euben, Roxanne Leslie. Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge.
  • Faroqhi, Suraiya. Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire.


  • Braun and Schneider. Historic Costume in Pictures.
  • Brooke, Iris and James Laver. English Costume from the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries.
  • Hart, Avril and Susan North. Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail.
  • Peacock, John. Costume 1066-1990s: A Complete Guide to English Costume Design and History.

Other topics

Period literature

  • Abrams, M. H. et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1.
  • Bartel, Robert. Johnson’s London: Selected Source Materials for Freshman Research Papers.
  • Dawood, N.J., trans. Tales from the Thousand and One Nights.
  • McCarthy, Justin Huntly, trans. The Thousand and One Days: Persian Tales.
  • Shakir, M.H., trans. The Qur’an.

The Internet, of course, was also an endlessly valuable research. Aside from the usual suspects (the Oxford English Dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Wikipedia), I made frequent visits to the Royal Society website, Theoi Greek Mythology, British History Online‘s copy of Old and New London (among other books), several webpages about the Vauxhall Gardens, and a now-defunct link to scans of The Gentleman’s Magazine. I also used both Stellarium and another astronomical program, Celestia, to work out some heavenly details.