He discusses Jacobite servitors Jacob Bruce (1669-1735), a scientific sorcerer at Peter's court, and Robert Erskine (1677-1718), an iatrochemist
at court; Ukrainian clerics Stefan Iavorskii (1658-1722), an esoteric wordsmith, and eclectic thinker Feofan Prokopovich; Peter the Great's mission; and the role of religion and esotericism in shaping his vision of scientific reform.
Newman's thorough technical analysis of the iatrochemical writings Starkey published under his own name, as well as of his unpublished papers, rounds out the picture of a proficient and diligent iatrochemist
, engaged in constant work in the laboratory.
Here a hint of the origins of the contemporary test tube, in a curious vial held up by an iatrochemist
; there the use of giant `burning glassess' to attempt to achieve the heat of contemporary gas burners.