'Strange things so probably told’: gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon's New Atlantis

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Abstract

The New Atlantis has fired the imaginations of its readers since its original appearance in 1627. Often regarded as the apotheosis of Bacon's ideas through its depiction of an advanced 'scientific' society, it is also read as a seminal work of science fiction. Standing at the threshold of early modern culture, this key text incorporates the practical and visionary, utility and utopia. This volume of eight new essays by leading scholars provides a stimulating dialogue between a range of critical perspectives. Encompassing the fields of cultural history, history of science, literature and politics, the collection explores The New Atlantis' complex location within Bacon's oeuvre and its negotiations with cultural debates of the past and present. Contributors consider the book's use of rhetoric, its narrative contexts, its political and ethical implications, its relation to the natural knowledge of the period, and the function of miracles in New Atlantan society. The politics of colonialism and Jewish toleration, its complex representation of gender, and the role and politics of censorship are also explored. This volume will be the ideal companion to Bacon's The New Atlantis and for all students of literature, politics, history, cultural history and history of science ... Bacon's complex use of the motif, metaphor, and concept of gender is the subject of Kate Aughterson's lucid discussion, which buries the tired notion that Bacon simply advocates the dominance of a masculine science or a feminine nature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrancis Bacon's The new Atlantis: new interdisciplinary essays
EditorsBronwen Price
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Pages156-179
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780719060519
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003

Publication series

NameTexts in culture

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    Aughterson, K. (2003). 'Strange things so probably told’: gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon's New Atlantis. In B. Price (Ed.), Francis Bacon's The new Atlantis: new interdisciplinary essays (pp. 156-179). (Texts in culture). Manchester University Press.