How an Emperor Trapped a Con Man

Edward Kelley claimed he could talk to angels — and turn metals into gold

A 19th century book page showing Edward Kelley, based on a contemporary portrait

The castle of Hrad Krivoklat, west of Prague, was built in the 12th century, complete with a Gothic chapel. Statues of the twelve apostles gazed at worshippers from high above and at the altar stood a statue of Jesus, flanked by angels with golden wings.



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Nancy Bilyeau

Passionate about history, pop culture, the perfect bagel. Author of 5 historical novels. Latest book: ‘Dreamland’