Prologue
Francis Bacon by Max Patrick

Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561, in London. He died on 9th April 1626.

. . . I have, and do reverence him for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that he seemed to me ever, by his world one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration, that hat been in many ago. In his adversity I ever prayed that God would give him strength: for greatness he could not want.— Ben Jonson, Discoveries, 1641

'He is the supreme English exemplar of the Baroque Man, a master of the traditions and methods of the past, able to exploit or surpass or vary them with adroit dislocations, reversals, twistings .... His goal was power for grand ends and philanthropic glory. He won both, and contempt as well.' So Professor Patrick sums up the career of Francis Bacon, one of the most versatile and many-sided of men in an age of extraordinary virtuosity and versatility. 'I have taken all knowledge to be my province', he wrote at the age of twenty-three, and he interested himself in all branches of learning known to his age. A superb English stylist distinguished in law and politics, he also awakened his contemporaries to the potentialities and achievements of science. He assume any role and, as Professor Patrick points out, this suppleness has ensured that today, more than four hundred years since his birth, the controversies over his career and achievements still continue.

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