516 pages, Paperback, Size: 15 x 23 cm
ISBN: 9780980286588

After being out of print for several years
(and fetching a small fortune on auction sites
such as eBay and specialist bookstores),
Patrick Harpur's acclaimed magnum opus
has finally been re-released in paperback
by Blue Angel Gallery.

    "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 Godís 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..."  

Buy the new edition HERE



  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 Great Work, 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.
  'Harpur cannot now avoid the credit for the most full and profound philosophical exposition of our times.  It has made a deep and permanent impression on me, and I have received a vast benefit for which I shall be ever grateful' ~ John Michell, author of The View over Atlantis, City of Revelation, The Dimensions of Paradise etc.

'An authentic spellbinder.'  ~ The Guardian

'Surely one of the most persuasive evocations, ancient or modern, of genuine alchemists at work.' ~ Joscelyn Godwin, author of The Theosophical Enlightenment, Arktos: Myths and Mysteries of the Pole, Robert Fludd, Harmony of the Spheres: a Sourcebook of the Pythagorean Tradition in Music etc.

'Extraordinary and brilliant... the work is a classic and will be recognised as such.' ~ Charles Nicholl, author of The Chemical Theatre, The Reckoning, and the Lives of Rimbaud and Leonardo da Vinci.

'Mercurius is a splendid celebration of the spiritual intellect and the soul's imagination.  I will keep and value it as a moving (and beautifully told) story and as a lucid and provocative manductio to the Art.' ~ Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread Prize-winning author of The Chymical Wedding, Alice's Masque, The War at Troy etc.

'Fascinating... absorbing... the kind of book I deeply enjoy.' ~ Colin Wilson, author of The Occult,  Mysteries, The Outsider etc.

'Mercurius is a book written at least as much to elucidate as to entertain. It is probably the most explicit account of the alchemical art ever published - it presents a strong argument for the perfectibility of man and against the species of bloodless asceticism which drives a wedge between spiritual and corporeal love.' ~ The Literary Review

'Each of its 479 mystical pages needs to be closely read, for the dramatic turns in this extraordinary alchemical novel are so well hidden that one dare not skip a single sentence for fear of missing an essential key to the developing mystery.  It is rare to find an author who can expound with such authority on a subject whose very existence is known only to a few initiates.  He goes far beyond Jung...  This book is uniquely useful. There is no rival to it.' ~ Fortean Times

'Mercurius is magnificent. On one level it is a novel that intertwines the lives and different times of Smith, a 1950's Church of England cleric (who when off duty dabbles in the pursuit of alchemy and the Great Work) and Eileen who discovers Smith's secret when she moves into his house at a later time. On another level the novel is a sort of modern treatise on alchemy and the Great Work.... 
     'Patrick Harpur provides notes on each chapter at the end of the book, and the notes themselves are highly informative, based on extensive scholarly investigation. In fact, they're so good that I would find myself looking up a single item, but then another fascinating note would catch my eye and I found myself just reading all the notes for the chapter first.
     'Returning attention to the purely fictional aspects of Mercurius, you may think that the metaphysical element might give an overall mystical feel to the book, but actually it makes the physical more vivid, even more real. The literal and  psychological/daimonic meet in a creative expression of unified awareness. It took me about 20 pages to "get it" and from that point on I could relax & enjoy the trip - or I could just read the notes and get pleasantly educated, not only on the history of alchemy, but also the author's views on Carl Jung and other philosophical interests. Harpur's interpretations of Jung are particularly insightful & helpful....
     'A chapter later, I felt that I reached yet "another level" of understanding based on the storyline & text. This process - dare I say "initiation" - continued throughout. This may have been intentional on the author's part, maybe not. You can't completely pin Harpur down, he does not intrude in his own story....
     'I'll say this: Mercurius is no lightweight, New Age, fantasy fluff. It is a serious, mature work demonstrating the skill of a brilliant writer and metaphysical investigator.' ~ Justin Erik Farrow, editor of

  Contact:  patrick[at]
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