Updated: Jan 6
Francis Bacon was born on 22nd January 1561 in London. He was known as ‘Lord Verulam’ who was an English philosopher, a statesman who served as the Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. He was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge for education. He wrote books under three categories - history, poetry, and philosophy. He was considered the "Father of empiricism". His "Essays" are precise with a scientific approach. He died as “The Father of English Essays” at age 65 in Middlesex, England.
He was also the first writer to publish a collection of essays, which were so unique that its form became a genre in Literature. He belonged to the Renaissance and thus, many of his influential works were vastly impacted by the tenets of the Renaissance period. Bacon wrote prominent essays related to philosophical research, natural science and social status. In short, he has contributed to society by bringing about a clear distinction between Philosophy, Science and religion. He was the one who introduced a new way of writing and thinking.
Bacon's writing style is known for Aphoristic (a sentence formulated with truth and principle). His essays are to be read slowly, because of the compact and condensed thought. These are the number of lines that are read like proverbs, for example in the essay "Of Truth" Bacon says “A lie faces God and shrinks pleasure!” This aphoristic style always depends on the device of balance and antithesis. In the essay “Of Studies" he says, 'Read not to contradict, nor to believe, but to weigh and consider”. He carefully presents both the advantages and disadvantages of a particular issue. He is also known for his usage of figures of speech. He is a master of simile and metaphor. In "Of Studies", he says 'Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested
He is also a master in using rhetoric and fruitfully expressed sentences. He was the one who set up a new method of prose writing, which was at once easy, simple, graceful, rhetorical, musical and condensed. Examples from "of Friendship" where he says 'For there is no man that importeth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more and no man that importeth his griefs to his friend, but he grievath the less'. An aphoristic sentence from "Of Simulation and Dissimulation" that “a habit of secrecy is both political and moral”
All his essay topics were drawn from both public and private life. In each case the essays cover their topics systematically from a number of different angles, weighing one argument against another. Though Bacon considered the Essays as "But as the recreation of my other studies", he was credited by pointing him to be the Father of English Essays.