Francis Bacon: The Essays, or Counsels, Civill and Moral

(2261 words)
  • Alexander Lash (Columbia University )

With the publication of his Essays in 1597, Bacon introduced this title, first used by Montaigne for his Essais in 1580, into English. The slender volume included ten brief essays on general topics such as “Discourse”, “Followers and Friends”, “Expense”, and “Negotiating”, as well as a set of Latin religious meditations and a rhetorical aid, The Colours of Good and Evil. Bacon went on to expand the collection twice, with the 1612 edition (which also survives in a slightly different manuscript version intended for Henry, Prince of Wales, who died unexpectedly while the volume was in preparation) comprising 38 essays, and the 1625 version growing …

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Lash, Alexander. "The Essays, or Counsels, Civill and Moral". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 August 2015
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]