Plan of the Edition

The Oxford Francis Bacon aims to produce a new 16-volume critical edition of the works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), in the original spelling, edited from the authoritative witnesses after a meticulous analysis of surviving manuscripts, whether authorial or scribal, and the collation of a substantial number of copies of printed books, to identify stop-press corrections. The introductions and commentaries will provide a rich contextualization of Bacon’s wide-ranging works, opening up many new avenues of research. The edition will provide brand-new facing page-translations for the edited texts of the Latin works; and re-integrate Bacon’s work within the study of early modern philosophy, science, historiography, legal thought, and literature.

The project was founded in 1995 by Graham Rees, OBE, FBA, with J. B. Trapp, FBA, as Chair of the Editorial Board. The British Academy adopted it as a Research Project in 1997, and continues to be our main source of funding. After the death of J. B. Trapp in 2004, Brian Vickers succeeded him as Chair of the Editorial Board; after Graham Rees’s death in 2012 Brian Vickers took over as Director. There are two Assistant Directors, Professor Alan Stewart (Columbia University, New York), and Dr. Richard Serjeantson (Trinity College, Cambridge).

Graham Rees’s original aim was to supplant the venerable Victorian edition of Bacon’s literary and philosophical works edited by Spedding, Ellis and Heath in seven volumes (1857-1879), and the OFB has used the great advances in textual, manuscript, and historical research since then to consign SEH to a long overdue retirement. Graham’s original plan was for 15 volumes; Brian Vickers has added an Index volume, which will also include some miscellaneous and attributed texts.

Published Volumes

So far the following volumes have appeared:

1996 Vol. VI: Philosophical Studies c.1611–c.1619, ed. †Graham Rees, pp. 503.

2000 Vol. IV: The Advancement of Learning, ed. Michael Kiernan, pp. 420.

2000 Vol. XV: Essayes and Counsels, ed. Michael Kiernan (first published 1985), pp. 458.

2000 Vol. XIII: The Instauratio magna: Last Writings, ed. †Graham Rees, pp. 363.

2004 Vol. XI: The Instauratio magna, Part II: Novum organum, ed. †Graham Rees with Maria Wakely, pp. 634.

2007 Vol. XII: The Instauratio Magna, Part III: Historia Naturalis and Historia Vitæ, ed. †Graham Rees with Maria Wakely, pp. 502.

2012 Vol. VIII: The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, ed. Michael Kiernan, pp. 702.

2012 Vol. I: Early Writings to 1596, ed. Alan Stewart, pp. 1,066.

Planned Publications

The following volumes are in preparation:

Vol. II: Late Elizabethan Writings, 1597–1602, ed. Alan Stewart

Vol. III: Earlier Jacobean Writings, 1603–1613, ed. R. W. Serjeantson and Angus Vine

Vol. V: Early Philosophical Writings to c.1611, ed. Rhodri Lewis, Sophie Weeks and Daniel Andersson

Vol. VII: Political and Legal Writings, 1613–1626, ed. Chris R. Kyle

Vol. IX: The Instauratio magna, Part I: De augmentis scientiarum, Books I–IV, ed. †Graham Rees, with Maria Wakely. Commentary by Marta Fattori, Benedino Gemelli, James A.T. Lancaster, Brian Vickers. English translation by Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Vol. X: The Instauratio magna, Part I: De augmentis scientiarum, books V–IX, ed. †Graham Rees, with Maria Wakely. Commentary by Marta Fattori, Benedino Gemelli, James A.T. Lancaster, Brian Vickers. English translation by Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Vol. XIV: Sylva Sylvarum and New Atlantis, text ed. †Graham Rees, with Maria Wakely. Commentary by David Colclough, Guido Giglioni, Penelope Gouk, and Kathryn Murphy

Vol. XVI: Index, with miscellaneous and attributed works

The Oxford Francis Bacon Project acknowledges the continuing support of the British Academy through the award of the kitemark of recognition as an Academy Research Project (ARP) and through funding from the ARP programme.