Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth
4.3/5 by 69 users

Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth

This highly sought after novel was first published in 1990. It has been out of print for many years and until the release of this brand new edition was as rare as hen's teeth, with some old copies fetching prices of up to USD $600.00. This new edition features a beautiful new cover and has been revised and updated by the author.
Know this: I, Mercurius, have set down a full, true and infallible account of the Great Work. But I give you fair warning that unless you seek the true philosophical gold and not the gold of the vulgar; unless your heart is fixed with unbending intent on the true Stone of the Philosophers, unless you are steadfast in your quest, abiding by God s laws in all faith and humility and eschewing all vanity, conceit, falsehood, intemperance, pride, lust and faintheartedness, read no further lest I prove fatal to you.
In 1952 a country clergyman called Smith begins his tortuous quest for the Holy Grail of alchemy - the Philosophers' Stone which transmutes base metal to gold and confers immortality. As he pits himself against the bizarre perils of the GreatWork, it becomes clear that his arcane transformations are as much spiritual as chemical. Gradually the shadow of alchemy falls over those around him; a young girl whose sudden pregnancy is a local scandal; Janet, trapped in a barren marriage; and Robert who pursues his own quest for the legendary blue glass of Chartres. Thirty years later, Eileen comes to live in Smith's vicarage. In the medieval cellar she unearths a hidden manuscript and begins to read of secret fire and mysterious prime matter, a green lion and a raven's head, a fatal conjunction of king and queen, a descent into Blackness and putrefaction. As she penetrates farther into the alchemical labyrinth, she is haunted both by her own history and by that of her neighbours, the menacing Mrs Zetterberg and the disfigured Pluto - and, finally, by the enigma of Smith himself. In separate but interwoven accounts, Smith and Eileen strive towards the one thing necessary for the Work's success -the great Secret guarded by the paradoxical Mercurius, who leads them to the zero point where Heaven is wedded to Earth and the miraculous Stone appears at the intersection of time and eternity. By reconstructing a highly sophisticated but almost forgotten world-view, Mercurius restores to us our own spiritual heritage which, rooted in the alchemists' dark retorts, will perhaps flower in the light of the future.

Title:Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:496 pages

    Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth Reviews

  • Sienna
    Aug 03, 2011

    (Probably 4.5 stars, but certainly the best work of fiction about alchemy that I’ve read thus far.)In general I don’t have much patience for novels with complex backstories, their authors refusing...

  • Tim Pendry
    Jun 19, 2015

    I would call this book a magnificent failure and yet it has many fine qualities, not least genuine learning and some exceptional novelistic writing. So why is it a failure?Harpur (as perhaps only thos...

  • Rowan
    Oct 15, 2016

    There are few novels like this. This is the second time I've read it, the first being a few years after its 1990 publication date. I was attracted by themes of alchemy, hidden histories and love, but ...

  • Chris Lowe
    Aug 06, 2013

    A brilliantly written and masterful book dealing with complex and little known Alchemical processes and explaining them beautifully. Some of my letter to the author is below:Hello PatrickIn my 60 year...

  • Michael Graeme
    Jul 31, 2011

    Absolutely stunning. If you have an interest in alchemy but don't quite get it, this is the book for you. Enlightening, informative, and a fantastically readable novel. How you turn such an esoteric s...

  • Mark Tyrrell
    Dec 31, 2015

    I really enjoyed this ambiguous tale of alchemy (or personal breakdown) told from 2 perspectives that of a vicar and a young woman who live in the same place separated by thirty years of so. There is ...

  • Jennifer
    Jan 12, 2013

    This isn't a flawless book, but it is great. The descriptions of Alchemy are balanced and grounded by the characters and their stories. The stories describe the process and the process describes the s...

  • Marc
    Jun 12, 2012

    Am reading now. Most delightful thing I've picked up in quite a while!...