Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Francis Bacon: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2008
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Though Vickers may have overdone the annotation, the notes are nonetheless exceedingly helpful. Vickers goes far beyond defining words. He provides concise and very well informed introductions to each individual piece; he points out how Bacon returns to topics, quotations, and metaphors; he identifies sources and allusions; he provides translations of Bacon's frequent use of Greek, Latin, Italian, and French. If he is overly cautious about how well his readers know English (he admits on p. 493 that he may be excessive), I expect that most readers will be grateful that he meticulously assists with words and phrases that have altered or vanished from use: who now will understand "a seeled dove" or "a net of subtility and spinosity"?
Vickers frankly acknowledges his debts to prior scholars, James Spedding and Michael Kiernan in particular. His introduction is concise, packed with information, and reminds modern readers that Bacon's career was a legal one. Vickers' decision to include two of Bacon's legal charges--one for poisoning, one regarding duels--was inspired; these pieces are short and eye-opening.
All in all, the selection pays tribute to Bacon in the best manner, refreshing his works by presenting them whole, with sympathy and respect, in their perilous historical context.
Before I give some examples, here is the editor defending himself in the Preface: "Many of Bacon's words have totally changed their meaning since he wrote, and not to be aware of their intended sense means that readers would receive at best a vague impression."
Now, let me give an example of his helpful elucidations. I am choosing a passage literally at random. Here is first sentence of "Of Death."
Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak
How many footnotes does that passage seem like it requires? Perhaps one, two at most? Vickers gives us six. He helpfully explains that "go" can also mean "walk" - which certainly opened up the entire passage for me. He cites a scholarly paper that analyzes Bacon's use of the word "death" (I'll go right out and read that one); he explains every possible allusion that the passage might contain, and also points out that "tribute" means "something owing."
I want to quote one more example, to show how seriously pathological this guy is.Read more ›
A bit of Latin wouldn't hurt either.
the book begins with a long preface, and two pages of chronology. The content was about 2/3 of book, and the rest 1/3 was the note. I am familiar with author's name Bacon, and I have recited the essay 51, of study, but I never expected such a long note at the end of the book. It indeed need such a long list of note. The English author used was not modern and the grammar was strange, let alone the anecdotes and jargon.
It is a good book, and it costs time to comprehend it, and it worth the time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unexpected coverage of F. Bacon's work. Needed this. Good job Oxford! Didn't let me down once again!Published 4 months ago by Maycroft
Definitely the best compilation of Bacon's works out there despite the fact that New Organon isn't included. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bookreview79
Very interesting book used by scholars for hundreds of years. A little hard to read if you are a commoner like myself.Published 13 months ago by Fred Dorfman