BACON [THE ESSAYS OF BACON]

(London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1907).

A SCARCE EDITION OF BACON'S ESSAYS BY ANY ACCOUNT AND THIS COPY VERY HANDSOMELY BOUND BY SANGORSKI AND SUTCLIFFE IN AN ART-DECO BINDING OF FULL CRUSHED HONEY MOROCCO. The text is printed most beautifully 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 #32164

First Issue in this fine and very handsomely printed fin du siècle fine press edition of 1907, here presented in an unusually fine and handsome binding. Title-page printed in red and black. 8vo, very handsomely bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in full honey coloured crushed and polished morocco, the spine with raised bands decorated at the turnovers with blind tooling, one compartment lettered in gilt, upper cover with title and decoration in fine art deco style, the turnovers with multi-ruled gilt lines, top edge gilt. viii, 272 pp. A fine copy of this important work, handsomely printed and beautifully bound.

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