The Twoo Bookes Of Francis Bacon:
Of The Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Humane
1605 · London
London: Henrie Tomes, 1605. First edition. The only work Bacon ever published in English, the “Advancement of Learning” was his first statement of the scientific method as a philosophical position, and of his massive plan to survey all human knowledge (paving the way for the great encyclopedias of the Enlightenment. The book was published into a world that considered “learning” a matter of memorization of Aristotelian texts. “The Advancement of Learning” changed that, arguing that the only knowledge of importance was that which could be discovered by observation, that is, ’empirical’ knowledge rooted in the natural world. .
Small quarto (19cm; , 45, 118 [i.e. 121] leaves, without the final blank and added leaves of errata at end that are present in some copies (“not often found,” according to Gibson). Numerous errors in foliation. In recent tan calf tooled in blind in period style by Pat M. Bruno (bookbinder’s ticket). Pages evenly toned with light scattered foxing, especially on first and last leaves. Marginal paper repairs in last two gatherings.
Pages trimmed close, affecting shoulder notes. Provenance: British antiquary Francis Kilvert (1793-1863), his signature mounted, along with letter of presentation from Kilvert to his contemporary antiquary James Heywood Markland bound in (“Knowing your taste for literary curiosities, I venture to beg your acceptance of what I believe to be the editio princeps of Lord Bacon’s Advancement of Learning….”) References: STC (2nd ed.); 1164; Gibson, “Francis Bacon, a bibliography,” 81; Pforzheimer; 36p Norman, 97. (Inventory #: 6318)