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: John Dee (1527-1608), popularly remembered as an alchemist and spiritualist, was an enthusiastic scholar specialising in mathematics and astronomy, and collected manuscripts, early printed books and scientific instruments. Despite meeting Elizabeth I in person, he never progressed in the Church, and died in poverty. The four selections from his writings reissued here show Dee painstakingly listing his books before a journey to Europe, and appealing to the Queen for help when, after a catastrophic burglary at his library and the destruction of his laboratory equipment, his pay also failed to arrive. J. O. Halliwell (1842) reproduces the full text of Dee's diaries with an index; James Crossley (1851) transcribes Dee's appeals to the Queen; Bailey's book (1880), of which only 20 copies were printed, contains a full commentary on the last five years of the diaries; and M. R. James (1920) researches the fate of Dee's books over the centuries.