Background Information
why Francis Bacon

kept his Anonymity with the Plays


From Rev. Walter Begley's Volume III Enter Francis Bacon, he states :

"Bacon kept his name from the title pages of his poems and plays because, for one thing, he had learnt a lesson from what befell his father, Sir Nicholas. The greatest and almost the only mistake that very able man made was to give his adversaries an advantage over him, by assisting Hales in his treatise on the title of the Scottish Queen. If he had only 'concealed' his share in the book, and made Hales his instrument or mask, he would have saved himself, I may say, years of worry and vexation.

Sir Nicholas Bacon's known connection with that book was the means of excluding him from the Privy Council, after he had been several years in the possession of the Great Seal, and owing to the animosity of the Earl of Leicester he did not for some time re-establish himself in the Queen's favour. Here was indeed a lesson to young Francis, and he took it in numerous instances during his life. He considered it best policy to keep his name out of the adversaries' grasp if possible; for he knew well the power of envy, and had some wise sayings about the evil eyes that follow the rising or conspicuous man.


From Alfred Dodd's biography book, Page 51

Regarding Francis,

"...He learned the first steps of secrecy, the joy of writing, the thrill of anonymous authorship, from the example of his parents.

Not only was Lady Bacon an author, but so was her husband. They were not merely authors but they were concealed authors.

"Lady Anne Bacon made several learned translations from Latin and Italian but witheld her full name [says Rev. Walter Begley] and Sir Nicholas is supposed to have made use of a living contemporary Mask to hide his authorship of a certain political treatise." (Is it Shakespeare?, p.320 )

One book Sir Nicholas wrote gave such great offence to the Queen, that it caused a stay in his fortunes for some time, preventing him from becoming a Privy Councillor. His subsequent writings were therefore anonymous.

This incident naturally became one of the private family lessons for all to take heart. It was a well remembered item. Without a doubt Sir Nicholas would warn the two boys, Anthony and Francis against the temptation of open authorship respecting subjects likely to be controversial, especially politics, religion, or affairs of State. Its importance would not be lost on the quick mind of Francis. The home example of the "stay of Nicholas" pointed the danger of using one's own name when putting pen to paper. It taught him to follow his parents' example who content to be anonymous writers....Better still, completely veil one's identity, by hiding behind the personality of a living man who was paid for the use of his name; a stranger to become the putative father of another man's brain child......a mental creation, a book.







 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning