BACON [THE ESSAYS OF BACON]

(London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1900).

A SCARCE EDITION OF BACON'S ESSAYS BY ANY ACCOUNT AND THE ONLY COPY WE KNOW OF IN ORIGINAL PRINTER'S BOARDS AND IN FULL ORIGINAL STATE. The text is printed most handsomely on a fine, heavy Van Gelder Zonen paper with watermark and chain-lines. The edition includes all 58 of Bacon's essays as originally published in the much enlarged 1625 edition of Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall. Though Bacon considered the Essays "but as recreation of my other studies", he was given high praise by his contemporaries, even to the point of crediting him with having invented the essay form. We now know he did not invent the form, but the ESSAYS have nevertheless remained in the highest repute. The 19th century literary historian Henry Hallam wrote that, "They are deeper and more discriminating than any earlier, or almost any later, work in the English language".
Bacon's genius as a phrase-maker appears to great advantage in the ESSAYS. In "Of Boldness" he wrote, "If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill", which is the earliest known appearance of that proverb in print. The phrase "hostages to fortune" appears in the essay "Of Marriage and Single Life" – again the earliest known usage. The 1999 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes no fewer than 91 quotations from the Essays.
In WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS Bacon claims playfully to unveil the hidden meanings and teachings behind ancient Greek fables. He retells thirty-one of them, suggesting that they contain hidden teachings on varied issues such as morality, philosophy, religion, civility, politics, science, and art. Item #28604

First Issue in this fine and very handsomely printed fin du siècle fine press edition.
A copy with Pleasing Provenance with the ownership signature of Colonel Thomas Myles Sandys (12 May 1837 – 18 October 1911), a British army officer and Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1911. Title-page printed in red and black. Large 8vo, still bound as originally, in the printer's boards, entirely untrimmed and as issues in blue boards backed in tan paper, lettered on the spine in black. Untrimmed this is an especially large copy. viii, 272 pp. A copy in fully original state, the text essentially pristine with a little toning to the untrimmed fore-edge only and some offsetting to the end-leaves only, the original printer's boards with some minor age toning and very light wear, very little considering the fragile nature of the material used.

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Price: $125.00