Francis Bacon  

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"There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" --Francis Bacon

"I am come in very truth leading to you Nature with all her children to bind her to your service and make her your slave." --"The Masculine Birth of Time" (1603) by Francis Bacon

Cover of Novum Organum, a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620.
Cover of Novum Organum, a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620.

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Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, and author. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific revolution. Indeed, his dedication may have brought him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.

His works established and popularized an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

Bacon was knighted in 1603, created Baron Verulam in 1618, and Viscount St Alban in 1621; without heirs, both peerages became extinct upon his death.


A complete chronological Bibliography of Francis Bacon. (Many of Bacon's writings were only published after his death in 1626).

  • Notes on the State of Christendom (1582)
  • Letter of Advice to the Queen (1585-6)
  • An Advertisement Touching the Controversies of the Church of England (1586-9)
  • Dumb show in the Gray's Inn Christmas Revels (1587-8)
  • Misfortunes of Arthur (1588)
  • A Conference of Pleasure : In Praise of Knowledge, In Praise of Fortitude, In Praise of Love, In Praise of Truth. (1592)
  • Certain Observations made upon a Libel (1592)
  • Temporis Partus Maximus ('The Greatest Birth of Time') (1593)
  • A True Report of the Detestable Treason intended by Dr Roderigo Lopez (1594)
  • The Device of the Indian Prince : Squire, Hermit, Soldier, Statesman. (1594)
  • Gray's Inn Christmas/New Year Revels: The High and Mighty Prince Henry, Prince of Purpoole ( 1594-5) (See Gesta Grayorum)
  • The Honourable Order of the Knights of the Helmet (1595)(See Gesta Grayorum)
  • The Sussex Speech (1595)
  • The Philautia Device (1595)
  • Maxims of the Law (1596)
  • Essays (1st ed.) (1597)
  • The Colours of Good and Evil (1597)
  • Meditationes Sacrae (1597)
  • Declaration of the Practices and Treasons attempted and Committed by the late Earl of Essex (1601)
  • Valerius Terminus of the Interpretation of Nature (1603)
  • A Brief Discourse touching the Happy Union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland (1603)
  • Cogitations de Natura Rerum ('Thoughts on the Nature of Things') (1604)
  • Apologie concerning the late Earl of Essex (1604)
  • Certain Considerations touching the better pacification and Edification of the Church of England (1604)
  • The Advancement and Proficience of Learning Divine and Human (1605)
  • Temporis Masculus Partus ('The Masculine Birth of Time') (1605)
  • Filium Labyrinthi sive Formula Inquisitionis (1606)
  • In Felicem Memoriam Elizabethae ('In Happy Memory of Queen Elizabeth') (1606)
  • Cogitata et Visa de Interpetatione Naturae ('Thoughts and Conclusions on the Interpretation of Nature') (1607)
  • Redargiutio Philosophiarum ('The Refutation of Philosophies') (1608)
  • The Plantation of Ireland (1608-9)
  • De Sapientia Veterum ('Wisdom of the Ancients') (1609)
  • Descriptio Globi Intellectualis ('A Description of the Intellectual Globe') (1612)
  • Thema Coeli ('Theory of the Heavens') (1612)
  • Essays (2nd edition –38 essays) (1612)
  • Marriage of the River Thames to the Rhine (masque performed by Gray's Inn and Inner Temple lawyers on the river and in Westminster Hall in celebration of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Frederick, Elector Palatine) (1613)
  • Charge…touching Duels (1614)
  • The Masque of Flowers (performed by Gray's Inn before the King at Whitehall to honour the marriage of the Earl of Somerset to Frances Howard, Countess of Essex) (1614)
  • Instauratio Magna ('Great Instauration') (1620)
  • Novum Organum Scientiarum ('New Method') (1620)
  • Historia Naturalis ('Natural History') (1622)
  • Introduction to six Natural Histories (1622)
  • Historia Ventorum ('History of Winds') (1622)
  • History of the Reign of King Henry VII (1622)
  • Abcedarium Naturae (1622)
  • De Augmentis Scientiarum (1623)
  • Historia Vitae et Mortis ('History of Life and Death') (1623)
  • Historia Densi et Rari ('History of Density and Rarity') (1623)
  • Historia Gravis et Levis ('History of Gravity and Levity') (1623)
  • History of the Sympathy and Antipathy of Things (1623)
  • History of Sulphur, Salt and Mercury (1623)
  • A Discourse of a War with Spain (1623)
  • An Advertisement touching an Holy War (1623)
  • A Digest of the Laws of England (1623)
  • Cogitationes de Natura Rerum ('Thoughts on the Nature of Things') (1624)
  • De Fluxu et Refluxu Maris ('Of the Ebb and Flow of the Sea') (1624)
  • Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral (3rd/final edition – 58 essays) (1625)
  • Apothegms New and Old (1625)
  • Translation of Certain Psalms into English Verse (1625)
  • Revision of De Sapientia Veterum ('Wisdom of the Ancients') (1625)
  • Inquisitio de Magnete ('Enquiries into Magnetism') (1625)
  • Topica Inquisitionis de Luce et Lumine ('Topical Inquisitions into Light and Luminosity') (1625)

All the following works were published only after his death (1626):

  • New Atlantis (1627)
  • Sylva Sylvarum, or Natural History (1627)
  • Certain Miscellany Works (1629)
  • Use of the Law (1629)
  • Elements of the Common Laws (1629)
  • Operum Moralium et Civilium (1638)
  • Dialogum de Bello Sacro (1638)
  • Cases of Treason (1641)
  • Confession of Faith (1641)
  • Speech concerning Naturalisation (1641)
  • Office of Constables (1641)
  • Discourse concerning Church Affairs (1641)
  • An Essay of a King (1642)
  • The Learned Reading of Sir Francis Bacon (to Gray's Inn) (1642)
  • Ordinances (1642)
  • Relation of the Poisoning of Overbury. (1651)
  • Scripta in Naturali et Universali Philosophia (1653)
  • Scala Intellectus sive Filum Labyrinthi (1653)
  • Prodromi sive Anticipationes Philosophiae Secundae (1653)
  • Cogitationes de Natura Rerum (1653)
  • De Fluxu et Refluxu Maris (1653)
  • The Mirror of State and Eloquence (1656)
  • Opuscula Varia Posthuma, Philosophica, Civilia et Theologia (1658)
  • Letter of Advice to the Duke of Buckingham (1661)
  • Charge given for the Verge (1662)
  • Baconiana, Or Certain Genuine Remains Of Sr. Francis Bacon (1679)
  • Abcedarium Naturae, or a Metaphysical piece (1679)
  • Letters and Remains (1734)
  • Promus (1861)

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