July 13 is the birthday of the Elizabethan magus John Dee.
The John Dee Society organised a walk/talk celebration meeting at St Mary the Virgin in Mortlake. It was called a John Dee Tea.
Dee was a magnet for people in all the human disclipines, from mariners to scientists to mathematicians to poets. Spenser and Sidney visited his Mortlake home to feast on his library. He was the model for Faustus and Prospero.
Though there is no record of it, he may have met Shakespeare.
He was the polymath genius of his day, an Einstein-like figure, the man who could explain everything.
A walk to his Mortlake demesne last year was quite mind-blowing. The Church, the riverside site, the council block named after him. It became a poem: http://internationaltimes.it/john-dee/
The envisioner of ‘the British Impire’, I should not feel an attraction to him. But I do nonetheless.
Photo of Dee’s crystal ball at the British Museum is by Julie Goldsmith