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Bacon
     

Bacon

4.7 32
by Richard William Church
 

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This introduction to the life and works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was published in the first series of English Men of Letters in 1884. The author, R. W. Church (1815-90), who also wrote on Spenser for this series, begins forcefully: 'The life of Francis Bacon is one which it is a pain to write or to read. It is the life of a man endowed with as rare a

Overview

This introduction to the life and works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was published in the first series of English Men of Letters in 1884. The author, R. W. Church (1815-90), who also wrote on Spenser for this series, begins forcefully: 'The life of Francis Bacon is one which it is a pain to write or to read. It is the life of a man endowed with as rare a combination of noble gifts as ever was bestowed on a human intellect ... And yet it was not only an unhappy life; it was a poor life.' Church, while paying the highest tribute to Bacon's intellectual achievements in so many different fields, argues that 'there was in Bacon's 'self' a deep and fatal flaw. He was a pleaser of men.' He believed that this work should correct the adulatory stance adopted by earlier biographers, and reveal the whole, imperfect man.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781108034432
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/17/2011
Series:
Cambridge Library Collection - English Men of Letters Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER HI. BACON AND JAMES i. Bacon's life was a double one. There was the life of high thinking, of disinterested aims, of genuine enthusiasm, of genuine desire to delight and benefit mankind, by opening new paths to wonder and knowledge and power. And there was the put on and worldly life, the life of supposed necessities for the provision of daily bread, the life of ambition and self-seeking, which he followed, not without interest and satisfaction, but at bottom because he thought he must must be a great man, must be rich, must live in the favour of the great, because without it his great designs could not be accomplished. His original plan of life was disclosed in his letter to Lord Burghley : to get some office with an assured income and not much work, and then to devote the best of his time to his own subjects. But this, if it was really his plan, was gradually changed : first, because he could not get such a place; and next because his connection with Essex, the efforts to gain him the Attorney's place, and the use which the Queen made of him after Essex could do no more for him, drew him more and more into public work, and specially the career of the law. We know that he would not bypreference have chosen the law, and did not feel that his vocation lay that way. But it was the only way open to him for mending his fortunes. And so the two lives went on side by side, the worldly one he would have said, the practical one often interfering with the life of thought and discovery, and partly obscuring it, but yet always leaving it paramount in his own mind. His dearest and most cherished ideas, the thoughts with which he was most at home and happiest, his deepest andtruest ambitions, were those of an enthusiastic and romantic believer in a great discovery just within hi...

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Bacon 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
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