Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bacon and the New Atlantis

I think I may continue, at least from time to time, this practice of book-blogging. I hope no one minds. But even if you do mind, I'll probably do it anyway. I am an independent-minded blogger.

Anyway, I was thinking that if I can blog my way through a book that's twenty-five years old, why not blog my way through one that's four hundred years old? And why not let that be the book that this journal is named after, Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis? This one will just occupy two or three posts.

Bacon never finished The New Atlantis: it seems to have been one of his chief occupations in the few years between his being driven in disgrace from political power and his death. It is therefore impossible to know what his plans for it were: whether it would have been considerably longer and more detailed than it currently is, or only slightly longer; whether the scenes that we now have are essentially finished, or whether they would have been fleshed out more fully. So we'll just have to take it as it is, and assume that it's a fair general representation of Bacon's thinking on the issues that concerned him. And these issues are important ones.


  • I rather liked your book blogging, though I didn't follow along by reading the book as suggested. In fact, I'm considering following your example and book blogging at my own blog, though I don't expect to complete the series as handily as you did. Your reading (and blogging) pace is considerably faster than mine.

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