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The 'Twelve Keys', ascribed to Basil Valentine, was printed under different names and as part of collections of texts. Thus the French versions appeared as Les Douze Clefs, and there were versions in German included in <Vom dem Grosses Stein and the Chymische Schriften. The sequence of publications through the 17th into the late 18th century used a number of different woodcut and engraved versions of the imagery of the 'Keys'. For the first time all these different versions are printed, together with the text and the later commentary in the 'Last Testament'.
Adam McLean, is a well known authority on and enthusiast for alchemical texts and symbolism, the editor and publisher of over 60 books on alchemical and Hermetic ideas. Based in the UK, he has been writing and researching alchemical and hermetic literature for many years. Between 1978 and 1992 he edited the Hermetic Journal and during those years he also began publishing the Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, the important series of forty one editions of key source texts of the hermetic tradition. In 1995, when the internet became more widely available, he began to construct the alchemy web site in order to make alchemical ideas more accessible to the wider community. It is now recognised as the most important internet resource on alchemy. McLean is a great researcher and has often discovered, buried in libraries and specialist collections, important texts, both in printed books and manuscripts, which have been neglected. In 1999 he began to produce a series of in-depth study courses