Bacon and His Masks

Defoe Period Unmasked

by J.E.Roe

published 1891

painting by Colin McMillan  



To all exercising that royalty of mind that suspends the judgement until the proofs are in, do we dedicate this work. Even those who would look into it, not to believe, but for its novelty, romance, pretty chain of relations, and bits of good literature, will upon like condition, be included in our dedication.


The relational facts and circumstances connected with the life of Lord Bacon will be here found collated and marshalled beyond the cloud, and so that the reader shall himself say, Bacon stands in new light. Here he may likewise find short steps to the heart of the Baconian philosophy.

The several masks under which Lord Bacon performed his great hitherto undisclosed work will be brought into relation with his generally attributed writings, and be found to be, not merely in harmony with, but to be their principles expanded in detail; and thus, after a suspension of upward of two hundred and fifty years, their restored relations.

Having reached our conclusions with care, we hesitate not in making a claim which we feel that time and close investigation must ripen into belief. We indeed here open a door to methods which must erelong suprise the world. And the matter, coming through the highest mortal reaches, and, according to design, largely upon the wings of romance, must make it ever permanent with the race. As to the setting of ants, the race, anew at work Bacon himself says:

"And certainly I have raised up here a little heap of dust, and stored under it a great many grains of sciences and arts, into which the ants may creep and rest awhile and then prepare themselves for fresh labors. Now the wisest kings refers sluggards to the ants; and for my part, I hold all men for sluggards who care only to use what they have got, without preparing for new seed-times and new harvests of knowledge."

Reasons for the first part our title will in due time appear.

The interpretation of the play of Hamlet and of The Tempest,and which only we have attempted to handle, will be found new, as will our interpretation of the sonnets, and in which alone we shall endeavor to reward the reader for any labor he may bestow upon this work. Indeed, its Shake-speare features will be found to have an interest for the general which they have not hitherto possessed, in that, instead of giving a multitude of merely grouped together parallelisms, we give a history, wherein these, as far as space and circumstances will permit, are made to fall into relation. We have, in fact, so far as may be, made Lord Bacon his own Robinson Crusoe; and thus to tell the story of his life, and concerning whose doings will be found greater romance than was ever yet spread in an Arabian tale.--J.E.R.

May 30, 1891


Descriptions of the Masks


Grounds of Belief


Works of Reference




Relational Facts


Life of Bacon


The Tempest


The Story of My Life


Baconian Framework in Crusoe


Harley and Defoe


The Thread of the Labyrinth















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