On Truth

Ep 1/5
Monday 17 September


Five essays on the timely theme of “Truth” and current challenges to it. In the first episode, Dr Kathryn Murphy looks at Sir Francis Bacon’s 1620s essay, On Truth, and its striking contemporary parallels.

We live, we keep being told, in a “post-truth” world, suffering an epidemic of “truth decay”, but we are not the first to fear information overload, disinformation and fake news.
In the 1620s, the statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon began the first ever book of essays in the English language with an essay entitled “Of Truth”. He was driven by his own personal political woes but also by the preoccupations of his era: rapidly changing technology (the telescope and microscope made the world feel at once bigger and smaller); America and its inhabitants challenging European understanding and sense of identity; passionately opposing factions continuing the arguments of the Reformation; war in Europe forcing the question of just how far Britain should get involved in the Continent; and – to spread the news and unrest about it – the first organised distribution of newspapers in England had just begun.

To launch this series, Dr Kathryn Murphy, Fellow in English at Oriel College, Oxford, uncovers Bacon’s own concerns and links them with today’s pressing issues.
Reader: Sean Murray
Producer: Beaty Rubens for BBC Radio 4

Francis Bacon’s Hidden Hand in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: A Study in Law, Rhetoric and Authorship

Christina Waldman’s book, Francis Bacon’s Hidden Hand in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: A Study in Law, Rhetoric and Authorship is being published in July 2018 by Algora Publishing with a foreword by Simon Miles. The book explores the function and identity of Bellario, the old Italian jurist whose hand guides Portia’s courtroom performance, although he never actually “appears” in the play. Is Bellario’s identity linked to Francis Bacon, as Mark Edwin Andrews proposed in Law v. Equity in The Merchant of Venice: a Legalization of Act IV, Scene I (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1965)?

Appendix IV of the book includes Maureen Ward-Gandy’s 1992 forensic handwriting comparison of the handwriting in a fragment of manuscript, found in binder’s waste, which is clearly a scene variation of The Play of Henry IV, Part One, with the handwriting of Francis Bacon and other contemporaries. In her report, Ms. Ward-Gandy concluded that the handwriting in that drafted scene matched that of Francis Bacon.

Hidden Hand is available from the publisher, https://www.algora.com/545/book/details.html, Amazon, and other sources.

Ms. Waldman would also like to draw your attention to Mather Walker’s essay, “The Symbolic AA, Secrets of the Shakespeare First Folio.” Under the heading “The Secret of Old Eleusis: Plucking Out the Heart of His Mystery,” and under the picture from the Rosicrucian Digest 2000 (about 7/8 down on the scroll bar), there is an acrostic in the opening lines of the poem, “The Rape of Lucrece,” written in 1594. The first letters spell FBLAWAO, with the word “law” spelled in the middle. She had not seen this most likely explanation of the name “Bellario” until the book was already published, but has no doubt that the timing is exactly as it should be.

Simon Miles – Francis Bacon and the Mystery of the Phoenix and Turtle

Simon Miles – Francis Bacon and the Mystery of the Phoenix and Turtle

Sirbacon.org is honored to share Simon Miles in depth presentation on the enigmatic Shakespeare poem “The Phoenix and Turtle” that took place during the
Shakespearean Authorship Trust conference in 2017.
With many fresh insights, Mr. Miles’ research will enlighten anyone interested in the pivotal last moments of
the Tudor lineage regarding Queen Elizabeth I, Anthony Bacon, The Earl of Essex, Ben Jonson and the state of mind of Francis Bacon.