by Sir Francis Bacon (Lord Verulam)
About the Author
Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam of Verulam and Viscount St Albans, 1561 to 1626(?), English philosopher and statesman, was a man who, although he held high offices of state and was a prolific writer, is nevertheless still shrouded in mystery. Who were his parents? Did he write the plays and sonnets attributed to William Shakespeare? Was he the foremost Rosicrucian of his time?
Many people have speculated on these and other questions. The Francis Bacon Research Trust is dedicated to searching for answers. See "Francis Bacon Herald of the New Age" by Peter Dawkins, published by The Francis Bacon Research Trust, Roses Farmhouse, Epwell Road, Upper Tysoe, Warwick CV35 0TN, England.
The first edition containing ten Essays was published in 1597. A second edition published in 1612 contained tewnty-four new essays as well as the original ten. A third edition, the last in Bacon's lifetime, was published in 1625. It contained twenty new essays, making fifty-eight in all.
I propose to re-publish a selection of the essays which appeal to me as casting light upon the topics discussed in the Temple and World sections of this site.
I have been in two minds whether or not to attempt to "modernise" the text to make the essays more accessible to the modern reader, but eventually decided to leave well enough alone, feeling that my clumsy efforts would only mar Bacon's beautifully lucid style and reflecting that wrestling with the possible meanings of some outmoded expressions would well repay the reader's effort.
I have, however, taken the liberty of breaking Bacon's long paragraphs into shorter ones and added sub-headings to aid navigation. To help the modern reader who is not generally versed in classical languages, I have offered in square brackets translations of Bacon's frequent Latin tags.