[In some minds John Dee is less of an historical figure than he should be. His “esoteric practices” affected his reputation and legacy. In our own times, we try to re-assesss and rehabilitate him by understanding his influence and his times.]
“Historiographically, Dee’s Protean interests have proved no easier to classify than his spectra of the mathematical arts. Dee’s esoteric pursuits were well known to his contemporary detractors, and continue to occupy the popular imagination today, yet the academy has struggled to reconcile his natural philosophical interests with those apparently antithetical to modern conceptions of science. In the absence of any single, outstanding contribution to support his inclusion in canonical histories of the Scientific Revolution, for much of the twentieth century Dee remained a marginal figure in broader histories of science.His re-engineering as a hermetic magus in the 1960s and 70s offered a new narrative, in which Dee became the case study par excellence for the influence of Neoplatonic currents on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century developments in astronomy and natural philosophy.”Jennifer M. Rampling, John Dee and the sciences: early modern networks of knowledge, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 432-436, ISSN 0039-3681, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2011.12.001.