Narrative contexts for Bacon’s New Atlantis
in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

Susan Bruce argues that in Francis Bacon's utopia of Bensalem, St Thomas More's male gaze of desire is replaced by a scientific elaboration of the value of male potency and procreation as a kind of state enterprise. In the New Atlantis, the voyage allows Bacon to incorporate his scientific ideal within the society of Bensalem. The plain style of the travel narrative accorded well with Bacon's own ideal prose. As a travel narrative, the New Atlantis is full of allusions to the significance of colonial endeavours by England and its competing European powers in the quest for possession, as well as knowledge. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros' Terra Australis Incognita is his account of a Portuguese voyage which reached Vanuatu, but Quiros was convinced that he had reached the Great South Land and campaigned constantly for a colonising expedition.

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Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

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Editor: Bronwen Price
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