folio, 4 volumes, title page of each volume signed by Coleridge in a generally stylised version of his signature, title page of Volume 1 with additional signature "Derwent Coleridge - January 1849", engraved frontispiece portraits by Hollar, Vertue and others in each volume, title pages in red and black with ornaments, head- and tail-pieces, contemporary mottled calf, spines in seven compartments gilt, morocco labels, some offsetting, foxing and browning to some leaves, rebacked preserving original spines, upper cover of volume 4 and frontispiece detached, title page of same volume torn with loss, further repairs and wear to edges of binding
samuel taylor and derwent coleridge's copy of the works of the first of the great british empiricists and the founder of the modern scientific method.
Although Bacon's role as the founder of modern science and (according to some) the first to launch a wholly mechanistic view of the universe is controversial to this day, S.T. Coleridge appears never to have seen him in this light. Understandably, as one who wrestled with his Christian faith in the early years (becoming, for a time, a Unitarian lay preacher) before returning to the Church of England, and one who placed great store on the driving force of personal revelation in religion, Coleridge was not one who valued a mechanistic view of nature. Indeed, the great culprit here, for him, was Descartes, whose partition of mind and body, live and passive matter, betrayed the impulse towards "a true natural philosophy, based on legitimate experience". But for him (as for Shelley) Bacon was the man "by whom Science was married to Poetry".
In September 1825 Coleridge announced his plans to translate Bacon's Novum Organum for Montagu's edition of Bacon's works (subsequently published by Pickering in 16 volumes, 1825-36). In the event he was unable to do this, but did help Montagu with the work, as acknowleged in the preface.
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