A mass was held in Prague on Saturday in memory of the English-born Renaissance poetess Elizabeth Jane Weston, who spent nearly all her life in Prague and died 400 years ago. The mass took place at the Church of St. Thomas where she is buried. Known as Virgo Angla (the English Maiden) at the court of Rudolph II at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries she was considered one of Europe’s great poets. Elizabeth Jane Weston wrote in Latin and a collection of her poems was published in Czech in 2003.
Not many of the thousands of passengers arriving every day at London’s busy St Pancras Station are aware that they are passing just a few dozen metres away from one of the largest and most diverse collections of Czech books outside the Czech Republic. Tucked in beside the station is the huge, but surprisingly inconspicuous complex of the British Library. In this week’s Czech Books, David Vaughan shows us some of the highlights of the library’s rich Czech collection.
The philosopher, scientist and mystic, John Dee, was one of the great figures of Elizabethan England. He was a close confidante of the Queen and one of the founders of modern science, at a time of transition from the medieval to the modern age – a time when science and alchemy, magic and mathematics intertwined. In the 1580s John Dee came to Bohemia, along with family and his mysterious friend and assistant, the alchemist Edward Kelley – who supposedly possessed the gift of communicating with spirits. Between them, they left an indelible mark on