Essayes: Religious Meditations. Places of Perswasion and Disswasion. Seene and Allowed (1597) was the first published book by the philosopher, statesman and jurist Francis Bacon. The Essays are written in a wide range of styles, from the plain and unadorned to the epigrammatic. They cover topics drawn from both public and private life, and in each case the essays cover their topics systematically from a number of different angles, weighing one argument against another. While the original edition included 10 essays, a much-enlarged second edition appeared in 1612 with 38. Another, under the title Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, was published in 1625 with 58 essays. Translations into French and Italian appeared during Bacon's lifetime.
Among the many ideas explored in this book are beauty, gardens, honor and reputation, cunning, nobility, friendship and many others.
Authored by the man who is credited with having invented the essay form in English, The Essays of Francis Bacon was written over an extended period, ranging from the mid sixteenth century. They were compiled in a single edition in 1597 and later re-written, enlarged and added to in other editions in 1612 and 1625. However, their compelling and insightful quality still appears fresh and appealing to modern day readers.
The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral are short but pithy works, and bring to the fore Bacon's enormous scholarship, wide-ranging interests and breadth of heart and mind. Filled with Latin and Greek quotations, historical references and literary allusions they make an extremely interesting read, full of depth, humanity and the quest for truth.
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are seen as devel...More about Francis Bacon
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