BSHS Monographs 5Francis Bacon’s 
Natural Philosophy

Rees, Graham, assisted by Christopher Upton. 1984. Francis Bacon’s Natural Philosophy: A New Source. A Transcription of Manuscript Hardwick 72A with translation and commentary. (Oxford: British Society for the History of Science), 197pp, 2 illustrations.

ISBN 0-906450-04-7

The manuscript here published for the first time presents Bacon’s views on the prolongation of life and the causes of ageing and death.



  • out of print


“A major contribution to our understanding of Bacon and his intellectual milieu.”
Journal of the History of Medicine

“A real shot in the arm for Bacon scholarship … I feel no hesitation in heartily recommending it.”

“The result is a faithful and useful presentation of the original that will be highly beneficial to Bacon scholarship for years to come. The translation reflects the same high standards of exactness and concern for utility; rendering Bacon’s often convoluted prose into smooth, easily readable English.”

“…the introduction offers a useful account of the Renaissance doctrine of spirits, and various competing theories on the prolongation of life. The translation is serviceable, the textual and critical notes very helpful. All in all, the standards of accuracy and dedication to the text augur well-‘I heard a bird so sing’-for the welcome project of a new edition of Bacon’s complete works, over which Dr Rees is to preside.”