Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer, Conspired against our God with Lucifer, And are for ever damned with Lucifer… Christopher Marlowe


Faustus : the life and times of a renaissance magician  Leo Ruickbie  Stroud, UK : History Press, 2009  Hardcover. 1st ed. 256 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [239]-250) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Five hundred years ago the legend was born of a man who sold his soul to the Devil for power, wealth and women. It is a legend that has inspired genius and still inspires high art and popular culture alike. Around the world there are hundreds of nightly performances of Goethe’s Faust, as well as actual attempts at soul-selling on eBay. Faustus has rightly been described as an ‘icon of modern culture.’ But in 500 years no one has written his biography – until now.

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Faustus is the real story behind the legend. It is the story of a sixteenth-century scandal, of a man who claimed mastery of the forbidden magical arts and dared to rival the miracles attributed to Jesus. He evoked uproar and was accused of heinous crimes. But Faustus was not a charlatan; nor was he in league with the Devil. To find the real Faustus is to find the true history of his age, and Ruickbe expertly takes the reader on a tour of war-torn Italy, Reformation Wittenberg and the magnificence of Charles V’s court. The life of the legend becomes as real as any living person.

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