In the wake of new interest in alchemy as more significant than a bizarre aberration in rational Western European culture, this collection examines both alchemical and medical discourses in the larger context of early modern Europe. How do early scientific discourses infiltrate other cultural domains such as literature, philosophy, court life, and the conduct of households? How do these new contexts deflect scientific pursuits into new directions, and allow a larger participation in the elaboration of scientific methods and perspectives? Might there have been a scientific subculture, particularly surrounding alchemy, which allowed women to participate in scientific pursuits long before they were admitted in an investigative capacity into official academic settings? This volume poses those questions, as a starting point for a broader discussion of scientific subcultures and their relationship to the restructuring and questioning of gender roles.