Simon Forman

1826

Forman took up astrology in mid-life, and between 1596 and 1603, he averaged 2,000 consultations every year. That means he had an impact on huge number of Elizabethan lives, and since he documented them—and himself—in such detail, he is one of the major sources we have today on what everyday life was at the turn of the 16th century.

He wrote thousands of pages on everything from occult beliefs of the day to his own dreams and the concerns of the people who consulted him. He shaped history not by influencing the events around wars or nobility but by advising the everyday person on everything from their romantic lives to medical concerns and when and where they would find their missing socks.

Forman’s writing also contain some of the most complete documentation of Shakespearean plays as they were originally performed.

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