Francis Bacon

The Double-Edged Life of the Philosopher and Statesman


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About the Book

Around the time Shakespeare inaugurated the golden age of English drama, the young Francis Bacon proposed to take “all knowledge to be my province.” He soon realized the difficulty of that but in the process he posed two related questions, which he understood better than any other man of his time: Can human beings respect and obey nature, and Can they also command nature? He asked many other questions considered useless and impractical in his time but vital in ours. After a busy career as an English parliamentarian, judge and advisor of King James I, Bacon published in his final years The Advancement of Learning, which included his New Atlantis, with its prescient vision of human accomplishments, many achieved only in the past century. The first important book of English essays, it is an investigation of civil and moral problems that continue to engage and perplex us.

About the Author(s)

Robert P. Ellis is a retired English professor from Worcester State University. He lives in Northborough, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Robert P. Ellis

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9727-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2052-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
Introduction  5
1. Now Somewhat Ancient  17
2. Like a Child Following a Bird  33
3. Not in the Proportion I Hoped  49
4. The ­Corner-Stone Laid  62
5. Prospects and Possibilities  81
6. A Greater Place  98
7. Lord Keeper, Lord Chancellor  109
8. Still Ascending  123
9. A Broken Reed  140
10. Seeking an Otium  156
11. They Come Home  173
12. An Experiment or Two  190
Chapter Notes  201
Bibliography  205
Index  209