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2.0 out of 5 stars Description NOT Explanation, 15 Nov. 2011
Full of longuers, with over long quotes- often linked to decades of humiliating prostrations before the Court elite to get preferment via patronage.Ignores detailing/sufficiently emphasizing key aspects of the period = the deeply entrenched religious controversies influence on almost every aspect of public & private life + the frantic rise in coping with popular folk belief (1580-1620 saw the maximum intensity of the Essex witchcraft trials) + no focus on the extent (if any) that Bacon was influenced by the "occult philosophy" prevalent amongst the Elizabethan intellectual elite (including many of his close acquaintances) + it barely refers, even en passant, to the literary & dramatic "rebirths" in England's late flowering & all too short lived Renaissance.As the extensive quotes blurs the narrative thread,it lacks the clarity of argument AND the stimulating style which Jardine displays when writing solo (as in "Going Dutch" & "Worldly Goods") It DESCRIBES rather than EXPLAINS eg = 1619 Palatinate crisis not put in context of King James' routine policy of avoiding military action on the European mainland : eg = it states Bacon had novel insights into new theories & practices for the persuit of knowledge BUT does not offer suggestions for the influences leading to such a new approach NOR is there any clear detail as to WHAT precisely he was advocating that was so different & superior to his predecessors rigidly arid Aristotelian scholasticism. CONCLUSION = 524 pages of descriptive Tedium Vitae.
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Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon
Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon by Alan Stewart (Paperback - Oct. 2000)
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