The Oxford Francis Bacon VIII: The Historie of the raigne of King Henry the seventh and other works of the 1620s

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Michael Kiernan
OUP Oxford, Dec 22, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 848 pages
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This volume belongs to the critical edition of the complete works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), an edition that presents the works in broadly chronological order and in accordance with the principles of modern textual scholarship. This volume contains critical editions of five varied works Bacon composed during the 1620s. The most significant and substantial of these five works is his biography of Henry VII (The historie of the raigne of King Henry the seventh) but the volume testifies as well to Bacon's continuing robust allegiance to his youthful vaunt that all knowledge was his province, for it also includes his sketch for a biography of Henry VIII, An advertisement touching an holy war (a thoughtful debate over the prospect of holy war in his own time), Apophthegmes (a lively collection of witty anecdotes, classical to early modern), and his select verse translations from the psalms. In each case an authoritative text has been established based upon fresh collation of the relevant manuscripts and of multiple copies of the seventeenth editions, and subjected to a thorough bibliographical analysis of the treatment of Bacon's texts in the early modern printing-house. The Introductions discuss the occasion and context for each work, evaluate his creative transmutation of his sources, and weigh their contemporary reception. A comprehensive commentary identifies and parses Bacon's use of source material, from his refinement of published literary and historical sources and contemporary MSS to the political white papers composed while he served as counsellor to King James. An extensive glossary is integrated into this commentary. An Appendix provides full bibliographical descriptions of all of the textual witnesses, manuscript and printed edition.

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About the author (2011)


Michael Kiernan received his doctorate from Harvard University where he was Resident Tutor at Mather House. Associate Professor of English Emeritus at Penn State University (University Park), he has taught Shakespeare and Renaissance/early modern literature. He has edited Volume 4 (2000) and volume 15 of the OFB (Harvard/Oxford, 1985; republished 2000), and now, this present volume 8 of the OFB (2011). Research for these volumes has been supported by grants from the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the British Academy, and Penn State.

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