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The New Atlantis

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  958 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Large Format for easy reading. By the English astrologer, philosopher, statesman, spy, freemason and essayist. Offers a fictional illustration of Bacon's visionary ideal of the role that science should play in modern society, and depicts his idea of utopia.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Dodo Press (first published 1624)
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Like all utopias, boring as sh*t.
A book first published in 1627, under the title The New Atlantis, Or the Voyage to the Land of the Rosicrucians.

The story of a ship lost in the Pacific ocean, with 51 people on board, 17 sick...and the encounter of a land full of "boscage": Bensalem island,whose inhabitants are Christian too and well advanced.First communications are in Spanish, but emissaries of Bensalem master the "ancient Hebrew,Greek,the good Latin, and Spanish" languages. They're willing to assist those lost,hungry and mori
Bill  Kerwin

This 15,000 word fragment of a utopian narrative is written in a clear, transparent style and demonstrates that Bacon could have been an important early contributor to the body of English fiction if he hadn't been too busy with other things.

In spite of its male chauvinism, I was particularly impressed by his description of "the feast of the family"--a celebration of the individual patriarch by a society which values and honors a stable and fruitful marriage.

The description of the workings of "
I cannot say that I liked it, for Francis Bacon's utopian vision of society is not only ridiculous but also kind of offensive. The New Atlantians, who themselves are (obviously) learned, chaste and sophisticated, consider the Chinese 'foolish', the Africans to be the 'little foul ugly Spirits of Fornication', and the American Indians plain 'savage'. Way to go, Enlightenment! (yes, I know that technically it's not Enlightenment yet). And this wondrous land called Bensalem consists exclusively of ...more
This book started out as more fun than any other Utiopa I've read. but it quickly digressed into uninspired, orthodox christian propoganda. Even the Jews in this city are Christians. Whatever. Essentially Bacon's ideal society is Christian Europe without the corruption and greed. However, he gives no cure for the corruption and greed. He just insists that, "they wouldn't do that." Sorry, Francis, but I need more than an insistance that a friendly group of Atlantians wouldn't dream of greed or pr ...more
This is a very short book, so it deserves a very short review. It is interesting, and probably inevitable, to compare this work with More’s Utopia. Whereas More is mostly interested in politics, economics, and culture, Bacon’s interests are primarily scientific. At least a quarter of the book consists of a long catalogue of the inventions and discoveries made by Salomon’s House. The list was quite impressive, as Bacon does manage to anticipate many later discoveries. But it is still pretty dull, ...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Had that father of Salomon's House been talking about himself,I would have called him an egotist to his face. But as it is,he was talking about his island. But all this 'we have' that he described made Bacon's utopia look like 'all work and no play made him dumb'..
Though the rituals of the feast were strange,and so were the ways in which the narrator and his group were allowed to enter the island,the islanders were good in their treatment of strangers. But what I didn't feel right was their att
Audrey Stark
I get that the genre of utopia is all about paradox. I just didn't enjoy this text, and that's what it boils down to. It's probably really offensive to some people. It's a Christian utopia which asserts God chose them to handle knowledge not given to the rest of the world. There's a token Jew and women are basically not present. I was bored.
Sep 24, 2014 Joe added it
Shelves: fiction
a post-natural country, technological positivism, hermits living in mines being data mined, patriarchal management of reproduction, light based economy, immaterial labor, unilateral flows of knowledge, technologies of the extension and modification in life in exchange for no access to self-control over the reproduction of life...
I read this because Peter Thiel had recommended it. Honestly it's Bacon blatantly pushing his ideals into a 50 page booklet about a Utopian society. The world itself doesn't feel well constructed. The sailors who discovered this Utopian island were given "oranges that were scarlet in color" to heal their sea sickness. There was mention of vines that were like ours yet were white in color. There's a bunch of other things like that were he took something that was and just changed it a little and c ...more

As much as I want to read books that are four hundred years old, I often don’t because I get lost in that Old English dialect. I know. I’m lazy. But every once in awhile I do dive in to one and always come away delighted. With that being said, I was very presently surprised that Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis was such an easy-going read. Yes, the language was a bit archaic, and at times long-winded, but it was a pleasant read. Imagine a land founded before the Great Flood that developed indepe
A short utopian novel of wonderful imagination and scientific insight written in the early 17th century. A group of European sailors lost in the Pacific Ocean near Peru encounter an unknown civilization that is advanced in all worldly knowledge, language and technological marvel and conceals itself from the rest of humanity.
Not nearly as impressive a work as Utopia, this text has very little intellectual value, and even though it's only forty pages long, it tends to drag. Every time we might get an entertaining description of something, or be asked to think harder about almost anything, Bacon shies off with something like "I don't want to bore you with descriptions, but this was really cool." The thesis of the book, such as it is, is that science has a place in society. Let's not forget that actual scientists in th ...more

• Why did Bacon write this? Although fictitious, I don’t think his creation is intended simply to entertain. It isn’t narrative-like—it doesn’t rely much on characterisation and plot. Instead, New Atlantis seems instructive. Much of what makes Bensalem utopian is unachievable or unexplained, but Bacon seems to want its successes replicated in his own society. Perhaps what he really wants for his society is overshadowed by the less believable aspects of Bensalem society: beneath the fanta
I know what you're thinking--"Who is this Philistine that gives a work as important as The New Atlantis only two stars?" But I swear, it's a justifiably low rating! And here's why:

Firstly, unfulfilled expectations. In The New Atlantis, Bacon chose to weave his ideas into a piece of fiction, instead of expounding them in your typical, scholarly philosophy tract. The problem is, he really didn't craft a story that is any more compelling than a straightforward piece of philosophy. "Dry" doesn't do
It was a bit hard to get into, though the footnotes helped whole lot in the understanding of the text. It was also a bit of a slow beginning. But once I got into the flow of Bacon's writing and once he got past the technical stuff that set the stage for the rest of the piece it was smooth sailing.

The most humorous part (though I doubt it was supposed to be) was when he explained why the natives of great Atlantis (America, though it sounded like only the top half of North America, the USA and Can
Sometimes reading is like a scavenger hunt for me. I pick up an old book, read and soak in the culture, meditation, and history that were a part of the author who penned it. And every now and then, when I do this, I come across a title or another author reference from that same time period, or as something that came before and inspired the work. So I search out and read that work or author, soak it in and look for more clues for future reading. Such was my experience with Francis Bacon’s The New ...more
Delicious Strawberry
I was rather disappointed in this. This was the second story in a book that had 3 Utopia stories in it, and after reading the first story (Moore's Utopia) this was especially a letdown. I expected more world-building, since this story is told from the POV of a man whose ship is blown off course and he ends up in a strange land.

We learn of a tradition where men with at least 30 descendants are given honor, but a woman who achieves this is not afforded the same honor. Also, at the ceremony, the ma
Katherine Cowley
This book is Sir Francis Bacon's portrayal of a utopian society that is notable for its focus on science, its predictions of the modern research university, and other scientific and technological predictions. I admit that this was the part of the book that I enjoyed (which is focused on in the second half). This was also the reason I picked up the book in the first place--I'm interested in historic predictions about science, and I've read other utopia novels (like Moore's Utopia and Gilman's Her ...more
Maan Kawas
A beautiful Utopian novel by Sir Francis Bacon that reflects his aspirations and visions for the human future based on his! The prophetic novel demonstrates very creative ideas in the field of scientific experimentation, invention, and scientific discoveries. The people of this land are generous and pious, with high moralities and values (e.g. they do not accept to be doubly paid), but with a greater tendency and interest in applying the scientific and empirical method, as championed by Bacon, t ...more
Un voyage fantastique dont les XVIeme et XVIIeme étaient féconds. Dans celui ci, Francis Bacon (il a été chancelier d’Angleterre et a été le maitre de d’œuvre de l'unification avec l'écosse et de la création de la grande bretagne), imagine qu'un vaisseau aborde un continent inconnu dans le pacifique où habitent des habitants qui connaissent très bien notre monde mais reste caché aux yeux des autres. Les habitants de Bensalem jouissent de nombreuses commodités inconnues ailleurs qu'ils ont misent ...more
مناف زيتون
WOW, A perfect Utopia. it delivers a real acceptable relation between religious believes and usage of science, way much better the one we have in real life.

it was a shock that the rest of the book was not perfected, I wonder how it would end, I guess with white men occupying Bensalem and killing its people
1. I like to read books that have an ending.... this did not
2. I like books with a plot.... this did not.
3. I like books that have characters in them.... this didn't really have that either

There were some interesting tid bits for people interested in the Antedeluvian world, but other than a few barely unpacked kernels of interesting ideas, this book was Flat. flat as a pancake.... no a crepe.

no need to read
as a story, it was meandering and unstructured. as a set of ideas, okay, i'll accept the fact that they are of historical significance as far as his philosophies go. still -- and maybe it's the fact that i'm a modern reader, but i was waiting for the part where the bensalem islanders go, 'oh, and soylent green is people.'
Joseph Dufour
Its a wonder how man can change Gods words so much..It might have been harder living in those days but everyone was closer to God..The church itself is destroying us.This is a great book a must read.
Nick Gotch
First, this is a bit of an old book so some of the language/customs are a little out of place but surprisingly it really didn't feel it. The religious aspects I didn't care for but the basic storyline was pretty interesting and it was fascinating how Bacon dreamed up this futuristic utopian society, predicting artificially bred crops & livestock, medical improvements, and crafting a University not unlike many as they are today. It was particularly cool reading on Bacon's idea of a scientific ...more
The New Atlantis is more comprehensible than The Blazing World by Cavendish but not nearly as good as Utopia by More.
Interesting insight on the empiricism of the period. Not much of a story.
Valentin Eni
În cea mai mare parte m-am plictisit, citind despre felul în care se îmbrăcau ori despre ritualurile artificioase, despre amabilităţile pe care şi le făceau locuitorii insulei cu cei veniţi. În ultima parte m-am delectat, avînd plăcerea să recunosc acele lucruri fantastice pe atunci şi care s-au împlinit la ziua de azi. Şi mai sînt unele care urmează să fie realizate în viitor, cum ar fi cele ce ţin de ingineria genetică. Se presupune că "Noua Atlantidă" nu a fost finisată. Nu-mi imaginez ce luc ...more
It was hard to get into, but the book was still interesting.
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Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban, QC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientifi ...more
More about Francis Bacon...
The Essays The New Organon New Atlantis and the Great Instauration The Advancement Of Learning Of Empire

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“But when men have at hand a remedy more agreeable to their corrupt will, marriage is almost expulsed. And therefore there are with you seen infinite men that marry not, but chose rather a libertine and impure single life, than to be yoked in marriage; and many that do marry, marry late, when the prime and strength of their years is past. And when they do marry, what is marriage to them but a very bargain; wherein is sought alliance, or portion, or reputation, with some desire (almost indifferent) of issue; and not the faithful nuptial union of man and wife, that was first instituted.” 0 likes
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