Manly Palmer Hall (1901 – 1990) was a Canadian author which became sufficiently known and respected as a lecture and interpreter of the ancient writings.
Alchemy was more than a powerful science which could help as it was supposed to transform metals into gold, water into wine or something else miraculous. Alchemy was created in late antiquity in the Alexandrian epoch and was a form of ritual hermetic art. To a large extent it was based on the teaching of 4 primary elements of Aristotle. “The Theory and Practice of Alchemy” won't open you the world of magic transformation but it is worth of reading.