William Gilbert and

The Hurricane: a Theosophical and Western Eclogue

William Gilbert (1763–1824), theosophist, poet, and astrologer, is best known as the author of The Hurricane (1796). Gilbert published this poem in Bristol, where he briefly associated with the poets Coleridge, Wordsworth and Southey, who all viewed him and his writing with a mixture of admiration, affection and alarm. His writings on magic and astrology are of interest to anyone wanting to trace the survival of the hermetic tradition into the Romantic era, and are essential background to the symbolism underlying The Hurricane.

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What’s New

Added to further reading Nov 2022: Paul Cheshire, William Gilbert and Esoteric Romanticism, now available from Liverpool University Press as free PDF download

Added to further reading Jul 2022: Sue Thomas, ‘Placing William Gilbert’s contributions to The World & Fashionable Advertiser’, The Wordsworth Circle 53: 2 Spring 2022

Added Feb 2019: Marsha Keith Schuchard, ‘William “Hurricane” Gilbert and the wilder shores of Freemasonry: revolutionary winds from Antigua, America, England, and Nova Scotia to Africa.

Added Jan 2019: • 1824 – Gilbert's Last Year 1801 Gilbert in Charleston