Publication in Seventeenth-centuryEngland
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993); Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the
English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press,
1995); H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts,
1558–1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996).
Margaret J. M. Ezell, Social Authorship and the Advent of Print (Baltimore, MD,
and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 12.
Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric, 135–208 usefully
terms this interactive process ‘social
an anthology of trial documents from early modern Rome:
. . . we social historians, in reading vivid documents such as these trials, walk a
narrow causeway. On one side yawns an abyss of bafflement, while on the other
side there gapes a chasm of complacency.19
One early modern historian who has been charged with just such complacency is Miranda Chaytor, author of an article on narratives of rape in
seventeenth-centuryEngland.20 In a published response, Garthine Walker took
Chaytor to task over many of her assumptions.21 The most basic accusation is
identified this as perhaps the key issue in the dispute between
Webster and Glanvill: ‘Webster opposed the belief in witches because
his Paracelsian-Helmontian science and the radical Protestant theology
8 More uses the term ‘Holenmerian’ to refer to ‘those scholastics’ who had
described the soul as existing in ‘all parts of the whole body equally’
according to his biographer Robert Crocker, Henry More (Dordrecht:
Kluwer, 2003), p. 172. On Willis’s view of the soul, see John Henry, ‘The
Matter of Souls: Medical Theory and Theology in Seventeenth-CenturyEngland’, in The
(eds), Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation:
Studies in Intellectual Communication (Cambridge, Cambridge University
Press, 1994), pp. 51–74).
23 Charles Webster, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform
1626–1660 (London, Duckworth and Co., 1975), p. 250.
14/10/02, 9:18 am
Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
24 Ibid., pp. 48, 368.
25 Cited in ibid., p. 315.
26 Theodore M. Brown, ‘The rise of Baconianism in seventeenth-centuryEngland’, in Studia Copernicana: Science and History: Studies in Honor of
Edward Rosen (Warsaw, the Polish
in sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuryEngland.
Finally, we should be forced to address this question because it is a
subject with which early modern English writers are themselves
preoccupied. For example, John Lyly begins his second prose work,
Euphues and His England (first published 1580), with a
dedicatory letter to Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, in which he
self-deprecatingly compares the
sciences which may be called “sciences as one would”.’42 The
New Atlantis is not to be read as ‘science (or society) as Bacon
would’ so much as ‘thought as it might be practised’.
The ethical and political, both in terms of the detailed description of an ideal commonwealth and of recommended codes of
conduct, are thus absent partly because Bacon is offering a model
of the use of knowledge and reading for any society (even if most
specifically seventeenth-centuryEngland), rather than a model
of a new, perfect society. A more perfect society may well result
Gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis
’, Renaissance Quarterly, 45 (1992), 119–39.
20 For example, H. B. White, Peace Among the Willows: The Political Philosophy of Francis Bacon (The Hague, Elsevier, 1968), pp. 166–89; Merchant,
The Death, pp. 180–6.
21 Davis, Utopia, p. 113.
22 See Gordon Schochet, Patriarchalism in Political Thought (Oxford, Basil
Blackwell, 1976), Chapter 1.
23 Merchant, The Death, pp. 180–4.
24 See ibid., Chapters 1 and 2; White, Peace, pp. 166–89.
25 See Patricia Crawford, ‘The construction and experience of maternity in
seventeenth-centuryEngland’, in Valerie Fildes (ed.), Women as Mothers
interestingly in recent times is in Renaissance studies.
For example, Richard Burt, in his book Licensed by Authority: Ben
Jonson and the Discourses of Censorship,3 has attempted to rethink
the problem of censorship in the early modern period in ways
that call into question some of the conceptions and assumptions
concerning censorship that have typically underpinned supposedly more ‘radical’ critiques of the workings of power and
authority in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-centuryEngland.
In particular, Burt describes an ‘ahistorical, moral definition of
’s point of view. The motive behind the sorcery in all of these cases
appears to have been the overturning of the sorcerer’s position of
dependency and powerlessness. When a neigh-bour’s child fell ill, her cow
was bewitched to stop giving milk, or a bear attacked her cattle, she was
often forced to go to the sorcerer to ask for mercy, a request that was
usually granted. Unlike the counter-sorcery in sixteenth- and
1661) p. 2.
30 Naudé Instructions p. 14.
31 Ibid. p. 24.
32 Ibid. pp. 30–31.
33 Ibid. pp. 89, 90, 91.
34 See H. Love The culture and commerce of texts: scribal publication in seventeenthcenturyEngland (Amhurst, 1998).
35 Correspondence No. 993 p. 333.
36 Correspondence No. 995 p. 335.
37 Correspondence No. 1506 p. 461.
38 Correspondence Nos. 1356, 1364, 1371, 1379, 1392, 1400, 1407.
39 Correspondence No. 1325 p. 147.
40 Correspondence No. 1344 p. 172.
41 Correspondence No. 1533 p. 512.
42 Correspondence No. 1702 p. 2.
43 Correspondence No. 2287 p. 161.