1. Sagar, K. (ed.) The Letters of Ted Hughes & Keith Sagar, The British Library, 2102,: Hughes to Peter Redgrove, March 1973, p.335.

2. Sagar, K. (ed.) The Letters of Ted Hughes & Keith Sagar, The British Library, 2102,: Hughes to Peter Redgrove, 21 October, 1971, p.321.

3. The name of Helena’s father, Gerard de Narbon, would have reminded many in Shakespeare’s audience of the popular Herbal published in 1597 by John Gerard.

4. ‘I give / Me and my service, ever whilst I live / Into your guidance’ (III 99’101).

5. ‘Now Dian, from thy altar do I fly / And to imperial Love, that god most high / Do my sighs stream’ ( III 71’3).

6. Jung, C.G. Psychology and Alchemy, Princeton University Press, 1952, p. 202.

7. This stage direction occurs in the 1790 Nicholas Rowe edition. Rowe depended on the 4th Folio (1685) but, being an actor, he added some helpful stage directions.

8. There is much scholarly debate about the identity of the ‘long purples, / That liberal shepherds give a grosser name / But our cold maids do dead man’s fingers call them’.(IV vii 193’5). The most likely plant is Orchis mascula, an early flowering common orchid with long spikes of purple flowers, sometimes called ‘Dog’s bollocks’ or ‘Fool’s bollocks’, because of the shape of the buds. Its root is two testicle–sized white tubers with fine white rootlets, and it has long been used as a medicine for fertility and for sexual disorders. (http://www.sussexflora.org.uk/2020/04/orchis-mascula-early-purple-orchid).

9. Circe had a riverside cemetery planted with willows and dedicated to Hecate. Willow trees frequently overhang water–courses and are commonly called ‘weeping willows’. The medicinal ingredient in the bark of the tree, acetylsalicylic acid, is the active ingredient in the anti–inflammatory pain–killer, Asprin.

10. Burckhardt, T. Alchemy, Alement Books, 1987. pp. 149–51.

11. The full version of A Form and Method of Perfecting Bases Metals by Janus Lacinius Therapus the Calabrian, which is thought to be a copy of an originally treatise by 14th century alchemist Petrus Bonus, can be found of the Alchemy Website at https://www.alchemywebsite.com/petrus_bonus.html.

12. Sagar, K. (ed.) The Letters of Ted Hughes & Keith Sagar, The British Library, 2102, pp.10, 181, 212.

13. Saint Withhol is Saint Swithin, an Anglo–Saxon saint whose association with meteorological disturbances is still part of local folk–superstitions: if it rains of Saint Swithin’s day it is said that it will continue to rain for 40 days.

14. White, A.E. (ed) The Hermetic Museum Vol II, ‘An Open Entrance to the Palace of the King, by an anonymous sage and lover of the truth’, 1893, p.194.

15. Splendor Solis is attributed to Salomon Trismosin (probably a pseudonym). Images from an 1582 manuscript can be seen on the British Library webpage at https://www.bl.uk/a-history-of-magic/collection-items/splendor-solis. A full version with larger images is available at http://www.chymist.com/Splendor%20solis.pdf.

16. This image is in the public domain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splendor_Solis :Kupferstichkabinett Berlin.

17. Antony and Cleopatra: (IV xv 69) ; ‘Husband, I come. / Now to that name my courage prove my title’ (V ii 335).

18. In his ‘Note’ to A Choice of Shakespeare’s Verse, Hughes wrote of the effects of the ‘historical forces’ – the ‘national trauma’ – of the suppression of ‘the old Catholic and the new Puritan’ which he believed influenced Shakespeare’s life and his work. (pp.165–6). He expanded on this in Shakespeare and the Goddess… (pp.74–78). Using alchemical symbolism, he wrote that ‘Since Shakespeare was born, lived and died within the crucible, his art evolved as a kind of salamander. It had time to develop the means to thrive and to deal with the conditions and forces that shaped him’(p.78).

19. Ashmole, Elias (ed.) Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, 1562. ‘Verses Belonging to an Emblematic Scrowle: Supposed to be invented by Geo: Ripley’.( p.376). A digital reproduction is available on the Internet Archive website at https://archive.org.

20. Hughes chose, ‘The Phoenix and theTurtle’ as the final poem for A Choice Shakespeare’s Verse, Faber, 1971 pp.161–163.

21. A digitised version of this book, including Shakespeare’s ‘essaie’ (pp.182–4), can be found on the Internet Archive website at https://archive.org.

22. The Tempest(I ii 308). In Shakespeare and the Goddess…, Hughes wrote of Sycorax as ‘the African witch Sycorax (swine–crow)’(SGCB 471). Robert Graves, in The White Goddess, p.123., called her ‘Pig Raven’.

23. Skea, A. Image drawn from Eliazar, Utrales Chymische Werke – various sources.

24. One section of Hughes’ discussion of the play is also headed ‘The Tempest as a keyboard to the Complete Works’(SGCB 462).

25. Skea, A. Ted Hughes’ Vacanas. https://ann.skea.com/THVacanas.html.

26. Faas, E. The Unaccommodated Universe, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara, 1980. p.203.

27. An adaptation from various sources of Artephius’s Liber Secretus, including: Lapidus (Skinner), In Pursuit of Gold; Spearman, 1976 on Internet Archive (https://archive.org.); and Roob, Alchemy and Mysticism, Taschen, 1997, p. 36, ref. Bibl. des Philosphes Chimique, Paris. Some versions end: ‘he will never find the way out’.

28. Yates, F. The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, Routledge, 1999, p.191.

29. Yates, F. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp.207–210.

30. Elizabeth Porges Watson (ed), Defence of Poesie, Astrophil and Stella and other writings. Sir Philip Sidney. Dent, London, 1997. p.91.

31. Sidney, Defence of Poesie, p.199.

32. Sidney, Defence of Poesie, p.101.

33. Yates, F. Giordano Bruno and the Hemetic Tradition, p.187.

34. Gabriel Harvey referred to this title in a letter to Edmund Spencer at a time when they were both part of Sidney’s circle. See Yates, F. The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, Routledge, 1999. p.112.

35. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hemetic Tradition, pp.187–8.

36. ‘Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1555–1621)’ in Clarke, A. (ed.),Brief Lives, Vol.1. by John Aubrey, Clarendon Press, 1898, p. 1165–6. Digital copy at https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/47787.

37. Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, p.113.

38. Ackroyd, P. Shakespeare: The Biography, Chatto & Windus, London, 2005. p.176.

39. Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, p. 190.

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