Francis Bacon - the temper of a man
by Bowen, Catherine Drinker
pub. by Atlantic Monthly press (Little, Brown and Co.), Boston. 1963 LCCN 63-8960 - black and white illustrations between p. 118 and 119 - Authors Note p. 235-236 includes acknowledgements - Index p. 237-245 - this was a Book-of-the-Month Club edition -
This is a very straight forward and detailed biography of Sir Francis Bacon who at the height of his career was made Chancellor of England under King James I, and continued under Charles I. Bacon was born 22 Jamuary 1561, in the 3rd year of the reigh of Elizabeth I. He lived through the reign of James I (the King of England who was also King of Scotland) and into the first year of the reign of Charles I. He died on Easter day (9 April) 1626. He lived through some very interesting years of English history.
Francis Bacons father was the Chancelor of Engnland. Francis grew up in a priveledged family and lacked for nothing until the death of his father. After that, due to the conditions of his fathers will, he lived in much reduced conditions. He traveled to France for a while, experiencing the continental way of life, then returned for the rest of his life to England. His brother was much more cosmopolitan and lived in France, in service to the English government for some years.
Francis advanced slowly. The way of advancement was to be in service to a great personage and have that person recommend one to the King for greater positions. Francis served Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex for some years, but Essex ran afoul of the crown and in the long run was of little help. In many ways Francis Bacon was held in lower positions because others were successful occupying the positions he wanted. He was a member of parliament for many years and his speeches caused him to be noticed. He also wrote speaches for several of the people he served. He was a lawyer and interpreted law brilliently. His chief rival was Lord Edward Coke, a judge. Coke ran afoul of popular opinion and Bacon helped to depose him. Later Bacon was appointed to the position Coke had.
Early in his adult life Francis Bacon espoused creating a university which would teach and explore the world as it was, rather than studying the classical scholars. He believed that one ought to study nature as it was and by experiment rather than the opinions of the classical scholars. In this he was some 100 years before his time.
This book is an excellent read for the understanding of the Elizabethan era and what followed through the beginning of the reign of Charles I of England.
~ 2016-10-24 ~
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