One of the major political figures of his time, Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) served in the court of Elizabeth I and ultimately became Lord Chancellor under James I in 1617. A scholar, wit, lawyer and statesman, he wrote widely on politics, philosophy and science – declaring early in his career that 'I have taken all knowledge as my province'. In this, his most famous work, he considers a diverse range of subjects, such as death and marriage, ambition and atheism, in prose that is vibrant and rich in Renaissance learning. Bacon believed that rhetoric – the force of eloquence and persuasion – could lead the mind to the pure light of reason, and his own rhetorical genius is nowhere better expressed than in these vivid essays.
About The Author
Francis Bacon, philosopher, essayist, lawyer and statesman, was born in London in 1561. He studied at Cambridge and was enrolled at Gray’s Inn in 1576. In 1584 he entered Parliament as the member for Melcombe Regis, subsequently representing other constituencies.
Bacon made the acquaintance of the Earl of Essex, who endeavoured to advance him in his career. Nevertheless, having been appointed to investigate the causes of Essex’s revolt in 1601, Bacon was largely responsible for the earl’s conviction. Bacon was appointed Solicitor-General in 1607 and was successively Attorney-General (1613), Lord Keeper (1617) and Lord Chancellor (1618). He was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Albans in 1621. Later in that year he was charged with bribery and confessed that he had been guilty of ‘corruption and neglect’ but denied that he had ever perverted justice. He was deprived of the Great Seal, fined, imprisoned in the Tower of London and disabled from sitting in Parliament.
Following his release, he retired to the family home at Gorhambury, Hertfordshire, and his remaining years were spent in literary and philosophical work. It was Bacon’s ambition to create a new system of philosophy to replace that of Aristotle, and he has been justly acclaimed as an inspiration to later scientists, rationalists and materialists. Of his philosophical works, the principal and best known are The Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum and De Augmentis. He also wrote several professional works including Maxims of the Law and Reading on the Statue of Uses. Of his literary writings the most important are the Essays (1597; issued in final form in 1625), De Sapientia Veterum, Apophthegms New and Old and a History of Henry VII. Francis Bacon died in 1626.
|A Chronology of Francis Bacon|
|The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (1625) Newly Enlarged||p. 3|
|Essays (1597)||p. 134|
|From the Essays (1612)||p. 142|
|From Bacon's Antitheses of Things (1623)||p. 146|
|Explanatory Notes||p. 156|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st April 1986
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 1