Censorship and the institution of knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis
in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

Critical readers of Francis Bacon's New Atlantis have often drawn attention to the complex relationship between the production and dissemination of enlightened scientific knowledge in Bensalem. For readers of Bacon and students of the early modern period in England more generally, the New Atlantis unavoidably raises questions concerning the relationship between censorship and knowledge. Richard Burt's Licensed by Authority argues against any clear-cut distinction between criticism and censorship, poetic liberty and licensed poetry, within the multiple and dispersed, and often equivocal and contradictory, spaces and conditions of the court and market. The censorship and criticism become self-identical terms that can be juxtaposed in a stable opposition; the critic is "opposed" to censorship. Salomon's House exemplifies in ideal terms the advancement of learning, in the context both of academic principle and institutional practice. The orderliness of the institution's academic disciplines is mismatched by that of the conduct of its officials.

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Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

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