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Oxford Francis Bacon - is this project still active?


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The Oxford Francis Bacon aims to produce a new 16-volume critical edition of the works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), in the original spelling, edited from the authoritative witnesses after a meticulous analysis of surviving manuscripts, whether authorial or scribal, and the collation of a substantial number of copies of printed books, to identify stop-press corrections. The introductions and commentaries will provide a rich contextualization of Bacon’s wide-ranging works, opening up many new avenues of research. The edition will provide brand-new facing page-translations for the edited texts of the Latin works; and re-integrate Bacon’s work within the study of early modern philosophy, science, historiography, legal thought, and literature.

The project was founded in 1995 by Graham Rees, OBE, FBA, with J. B. Trapp, FBA, as Chair of the Editorial Board. The British Academy adopted it as a Research Project in 1997, and continues to be our main source of funding. After the death of J. B. Trapp in 2004, Brian Vickers succeeded him as Chair of the Editorial Board; after Graham Rees’s death in 2012 Brian Vickers took over as Director. There are two Assistant Directors, Professor Alan Stewart (Columbia University, New York), and Dr. Richard Serjeantson (Trinity College, Cambridge).

Graham Rees’s original aim was to supplant the venerable Victorian edition of Bacon’s literary and philosophical works edited by Spedding, Ellis and Heath in seven volumes (1857-1879), and the OFB has used the great advances in textual, manuscript, and historical research since then to consign SEH to a long overdue retirement. Graham’s original plan was for 15 volumes; Brian Vickers has added an Index volume, which will also include some miscellaneous and attributed texts.

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