Talk:Francis Bacon/Archive 1

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Contents

Sinologist[edit]

I added this section from Nova Organum. I'm not totally sure so someone clean up/trim this section.

-Works on East Asia- Francis Bacon was a prominent studier historical inventions. In his work Novum Organum, he attributes three world changing inventions to ***unknown sources**...

Not sure if he knew or didn't know it was from China.

"Printing, gunpowder and the compass: These three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world; the first in literature, the second in warfare, the third in navigation; whence have followed innumerable changes, in so much that no empire, no sect, no star seems to have exerted greater power and influence in human affairs than these mechanical discoveries." -Novum Organum

"For our ordinances and rites we have two very long and fair galleries. In one of these we place patterns and samples of all manner of the more rare and excellent inventions; in the other we place the statues of all principal inventors. There we have the statue of your Columbus, that discovered the West Indies, also the inventor of ships, your monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of gunpowder, the inventor of music, the inventor of letters, the inventor of printing, the inventor of observations of astronomy, the inventor of works in metal, the inventor of glass, the inventor of silk of the worm, the inventor of wine, the inventor of corn and bread, the inventor of sugars; and all these by more certain tradition than you have. Then we have divers inventors of our own, of excellent works; which, since you have not seen) it were too long to make descriptions of them; and besides, in the right understanding of those descriptions you might easily err. For upon every invention of value we erect a statue to the inventor, and give him a liberal and honorable reward. These statues are some of brass, some of marble and touchstone, some of cedar and other special woods gilt and adorned; some of iron, some of silver, some of gold."

-intranetusa


Birthday[edit]

jan 22 1561

His birthday is given as January 22, 1561 (not 21) in Wikipdia for January 22.

I don't know who added the unsigned comment above, but I just found the same thing myself - in fact every non-Wikipedia source I can find says January 22, so I've changed it. Andrewa 14:16, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Language in 1593 subsidy text?[edit]

I don't understand the following sentence:

The House of Commons duly information on state necessities, assented to a double subsidy and appointed a committee to draw up the requisite articles.

The phrase "duly information on state necessities" doesn't seem to be grammatical. If "duly" is an adverb, there should be a verb in the clause, and it should probably be set off by commas (e.g., "duly informed on state necessities"). If the whole expression (including "The House of Commons") is a committee title, something still seems wrong (at least to my American eyes). I don't know the history, so I can't fix it. Could someone look at this? -- Jeff Q 09:01, 9 May 2004 (UTC) haha

Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia[edit]

The incredibly long encyclopedia entry added to this Talk page doesn't really serve the purpose of a Talk page, does it? Shouldn't it be moved to Wikisource? -- Jeff Q 09:01, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

Well it looks like User:Mackensen has removed the text now. At first I couldn't see the point of just deleting potentially useful information and considered restoring it to a subpage here. On the other hand we don't keep text dumps of the 1911 Britannica lieing around, just in case someone wants to use it. Perhaps the best solution is to give the link to the source here;
For additional PD source material on Francis Bacon, see Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia (1911)
Or seeing as how some of the material has been used, the link could be put into the References section of the main page. -- Solipsist 08:04, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Best known for scientific revolution?[edit]

If Francis Bacon "has become best known as an advocate and defender of the scientific revolution", shouldn't there be something more in this very lengthy article about his contributions, rather than just this tiny statement? If I knew them myself, I'd add some text, but I'm in learning mode on this topic. ☺ -- Jeff Q 09:21, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

Oops! I spent so much time reading about Bacon's life, I forgot there was another paragraph (well, sentence, really) at the top that had a link to the Baconian method. I grudgingly concede that this serves the purpose I was after. ☺ -- Jeff Q 09:27, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

"Page here appears to have been missed in the scanning" note (and cleanup)[edit]

I'm not sure what this refers to, unless it's to text that was somehow lost from the 1911 Britannica (although not much in the text as it stands appears to match the 1911 sentence for sentence). Nevertheless, in my research, I didn't see many details in the philosopher's life that were left out in this mysterious "missing" section, so I filled in what I could find about the years 1600-1603 (a couple of sentences, at most), and I removed the "page here appears to have been missed in the scanning" note. ffirehorse 05:55, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Listing on cleanup[edit]

I'm listing this on cleanup because the article seems to have a tone and focus problem. In addition to concentrating from his political life, copied from the 1911 encyclopedia, it has a few bizarre statements under "rumors" which are ambiguous and unencyclopedic in tone. Cool Hand Luke 06:45, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Removed Rosicrucian links[edit]

I removed the following links, mainly because they have little to do with the actual person Francis Bacon.

  1. Bacon's "Secret Society": The Ephrata Connection
  2. Bacon's hidden life and works
  3. Painting by Barbara Gaffney showing Bacon as the Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order

PRiis 20:57, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

So which Francis Bacon are they referring to if not 'the actual person'? THere's a huge amount of sepculation about Bacon's connection to the Rosicrucians, even among creditable scholars (ie not just nutty secret society conspiracy theorists). The highly respected and amdired historian Prof Frances Yates, in her books The Occult Tradition And the Elizabethan Age and The Rosicrucian Enlightenment presents a great deal of evidence that he was involved in some of the more closed intellectual movements of his day - as were a whole host of other important British figures such as Elias Ashmole, Robert Fludd and several others. The picture of Bacon by Gaffney is a bit silly but you can't just dismiss this line of inquiry into Bacon.ThePeg 17:47, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Interlanguage links are fixed[edit]

  • I like this: "Little or nothing is known of their married life: modern scholars speculate that he may have been a homosexual. — Others reserve that he had been a Negro." — Maybe this is also a speculation. At least it is an opinion ;-) Best regards Gangleri | Th | T 00:21, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)

Did Bacon write Shakespeare's plays?[edit]

Possibly, and possibly not. It is a legitimate question, but any discussion here should largely move a reader to read the more rounded discussion at Shakespearean authorship.

Recently an anon author has twice introduced a paragaph [3] to discuss the question which has a number of problems.

  1. ) Firstly it is too POV in favour of Bacon being a likely author when there are several other candidates.
  2. ) It uses weasel words such as 'Some have theorised', rather than attributing the theory to known authors.
  3. ) It contains statements of fact that are incorrect. The phrase the first word of the manuscript of The Tempest (Boteswaine) has Francis Bacon's name around the B contains at least three errors. There is no known manuscript of The Tempest, the statement should refer to the printed text of the first folio edition. 'Boteswaine' is not the first word of The Tempest, it is the first spoken word. Bacon's name is not written around the initial capital 'B', at least not in clear text as is implied. It is possible to say that the name is encoded in a complex cipher involving the letter near the opening capital B. See http://home.att.net/~tleary/bote.htm which looks like a more credible source and includes a scan of the First Folio text.
  4. ) It pushes a link to sirbacon.org, when this is far from the most useful web site on the question. A more balanced collection of links is presented in Shakespearean authorship article.

It looks like there is a fair amount of dispute on the Shakespearean authorship page, but I don't think we need that POV war to spill over here. -- Solipsist 22:51, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Changed "claims by many good scholars" to "claims by many scholars". Calling the scholars 'good' violates WP:NPOV -- Ted BJ 09:15, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I've never understood why Shakespeare (of all the writers in the world!) should invite this kind of speculation. In fact if you look at everything Bacon wrote there is absolutely nothing to suggest that he might have written the plays. Intellectually the two men were completely different and there is considerable suspicion in Bacon's writing for art and poetry in general. One particularly silly argument I have read was from Manly Hall who seemed to base his proof on the fact that Shakespeare had no real formal education and clearly didn't have a library. His reasoning was that for Shakespeare to have written his plays with their wealth of references he would have had to have had access to vast amounts of books. Well as we now know the leading artistic and intellectual lights of the Elizabethan period found their focus in John Dee (cf The Occult Tradition And The Elizabethan Age by Frances Yates) who had one of the largest libraries in England at the time (third only to Oxford and Cambridge). You can see in Shakespeare's plays the voraciousness with which he must have devoured books, absorbed ideas and fashioned them to his own ends. An analytical scholar like Bacon would have worked in a very different way - indeed you can see from his writing how clinical he was. Whatever the truth of it why do we think Shakespeare couldn't have written his plays? Do we think Tolstoy didn't write his books? Or Marlowe not write his plays? Why Shakespeare? ThePeg 17:59, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Scientific method[edit]

Some material has been added to the History section if the scientific method article concerning Bacon. If someone here has a chance to look over it I would be gateful. Chris 08:04, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Please, the fascist who wrote this garbage about the genius Francis Bacon who wrote plays under he pen name Shake-a-speare. Shakespeare and William Shakespeare is a fraud. Why does this disinformation disseminator not want you to know the truth?

http://www.sirbacon.org/

"In Shakespeare's plays we have Thought, History, Exposition, Philosophy, all within the round of the poet. It is as if into a mind poetical in form there had been poured all the matter which existed in the mind of his contemporary Bacon. The only difference between him and Bacon sometimes is that Bacon writes an Essay and calls it his own, while Shakespeare writes a similar essay and puts it into the mouth of a Ulysses or a Polonius." orthodox Professor David Mason 72.28.136.72 09:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Homosexual[edit]

As a history of science undergrad, I've long understood Bacon to be gay. A quick trawl of the web turned up this, which references some pretty clear documents, assuming they're real - http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm I know I first read of it in an academic text about him, though - I'll have a look for it asap, because if his homosexuality is as clear as I casually understood it to be, it's kinda dishonest not to mention it in the article. Athenemiranda 09:22, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't and it is not clear as some claim - But suggest that, if their is documentary evidence of allegations, this should be mentioned.

In a time when politics was as ruthless as it is today and rumors could destroy reputations, one must tread very carefully when labeling someone's sexuality. If there's any question it seems to me that something like this is more appropriate for People Magazine, not an encyclopedia. What's the point? The diaries could have been written by those who wanted to bring Bacon down, or maybe not. Either way, it's hearsay and doesn't belong in a respected source of information. Sage1225 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sage1225 (talkcontribs) 05:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

King James Bible editor[edit]

There is no mention in the article King James Bible that Francis Bacon was on the committee which did the final editing. Because the statement in the FB article goes even further, stating he was the sole final editor, I have removed it pending the provision of some documented evidence. --Blainster 19:49, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

The 1611 editions of this Bible were printed under the same guidance and in the same manner as were the Shakespeare plays, and the ornaments for the various pages were drawn in pen and ink and on wood by artists engaged by Bacon who worked under his supervision. Everyone of the ornaments concealed some Rosicrucian emblem and occasionally a Masonic emblem or some initials that would reveal Bacon's name or the name of the Rosicrucians. Such ornaments were put not only in the Christian Bible that Bacon had rewritten but in the Shakespeare plays, and in some of Bacon's own books, and a few other books that were typically Rosicrucinan in spirit. That alone leave me to believe that he was either a major editor of the King James Bible. And that is fair grounds for a section similar to the Bacon and Shakespeare section. I request someone please rewrite it or I will in the near future.--Davin Bacon 19:25, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
This is not a widely held hypothesis. If you wish to add something, make sure it is well documented. --Blainster 00:22, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Psychological views[edit]

Could someone explain and discuss the psychological views and developments Francis Bacon had and led/added to? --Cyberman 15:49, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry[edit]

Other than identifying Bacon as a freemason at the beginning of the article their is no other mention of his connection with the mystical 'secret societies'. Numerous sources suggest that he was a high initiate or indeed even the founder of the Order of Rosicrucianism, so I think this at least deserves mention in the article. Can somebody implement some information regarding Bacon's relationship and influence within these societies? Panentheon 15:07, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

The writers of the article on the Rosicrucians clearly hold Bacon's involvement to be speculative at best, so unless you can produce authoritative sources detailing his involvement, I would be inclined otherwise Athenemiranda 15:02, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like the claim about being a homosexual: "He's one of us!"

A Rosicrucian AND a homosexual! Good heavens! Hmmm. Its interesting. No-one knows who founded Rosicrucianism. Dee is another candidate. They were contemporaries. The Rosies didn't 'go public' until the Rosicrucian Manifestos which are attributed to Johannes Valentin Andreae who was German. Who knows? ThePeg 18:01, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

It was the manifestos which started the whole Rosicrucian dough-ball a-rolling. Everything else belongs to the realm of occult conspiracy theory and not in an article about a famous advocate of rationalism. Jamrifis 23:53, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Triboluminescence[edit]

Supposedly Bacon is the first person in history to record the phenomenon of triboluminescence in Advancement of Learning while he chopped a block of sugar at night. However I cannot find the refrence. Does anyone know where it is in this book? --Deglr6328 20:21, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Found it! It was in Novum Organum [4] where he states: "It is well known that all sugar, whether candied or plain, if it be hard, will sparkle when broken or scraped in the dark.".--Deglr6328 07:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

BACON![edit]

Mmmmmm I like Bacon! lol Sorry I couldn't resist. I really do like Francis Bacon though, philosopher, nobleman, atheist, bacon, what's not to love? Seriously though I'm sure this is in the article but was bacon named after him or was he named after bacon or is it coincidental? --LucaviX 02:52, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Atheist? Sounds even more wild as the homsexual charge.
No, Bacon (food) was named after Francis Bacon. Before Francis became famous bacon (food) was called smalle porke. --bodnotbod 02:12, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
This seems extremely implausible. The Oxford English Dictionary has attestations of bacon as a noun meaning 'The back and sides of the pig' dating back to c.1330. Sorry to spoil a good story. Oldhamlet 21:34, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
So the part in the death section where it says "(in 1558 he had used a saline nitrate process to invent bacon)" is a mistake or vandalism and ought to be removed? 81.106.192.178 01:15, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
It turely would make the greatest story, along with the Earl of Sandwich inventing the Sandwich. Y control 10:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
My last name is Bacon (Davin L. Bacon), it would be rather neat to be related to him.--Davin Bacon 08:25, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Death[edit]

Replaced

Francis Bacon's death had a considerable element of irony.

with

The cause of Bacon's death is notoriously comic.

Irony is the (usually comic) occurrence of something unexpected, given the situation. Stuffing a chicken with snow and subsequently catching pneumonia, whilst amusing, is not ironic. Soobrickay 00:19, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Isn't it Ironic don't you think - As comic as it is, could it be argued that this is ironic; he was trying to prevent death and illness from food poisoning, and died whilst attempting this. Y control 23:28, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Pneumonia is a virus, so he could not have got it from being cold, I think the article should be reworded to state that the experiment had nothing to with his death. unless of course he contracted the pneumonia from the chicken. --Davin Bacon 22:30, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to be pedantic, but pneumonia is an inflammatory disease of the lungs, whereby they become filled with fluid, not necessarily a result of infectious agents. As well as bacterial and viral causes, it can be caused by damage to the lungs. There's quite a comprehensive wikipedia article on this.~~DJ 24 Sep 2006

Not at all funny[edit]

Bacon's death wasn't ironic, and wasn't comic either. Bigturtle 20:51, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

  • It was ironic if you keep in mind that he was trying to find a new means of preserving meat in order to save many more lives, but as a result he lots his own.Davin Bacon 23:07, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no evidence that the stuffing of fowl with snow caused the pneumonia. At any rate, nobody catches pneumonia while stuffing chicken with anything. If he fell ill with pneumonia right after the experiment, then it's certainly an unrelated event. If it happened days later, it still doesn't prove anything. I'll call it a coincidence. In my opinion, this is neither comic nor ironic; it's just a coincidence of most likely unrelated events. --Tito4000 14:00, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

In an article about a philosopher of scientific method (perhaps the greatest), you're quite right to be sceptical. Presumably we can rule out bird flu? However, as Hume pointed out, science can never have the certainty of mathematics, being based on observation; for example the fact that B has always been observed to follow A does not provide certainty that B will always follow A; it is merely persuasive. As Bacon was also a lawyer, he would probably say that the circumstantial evidence strongly points to the snow, his immediately feeling ill, the cold damp bed that Hobbes and Aubrey reported, and his death soon after, not being entirely unrelated, whatever virus or whatever he had caught. They may have been unrelated, but the circumstances of his death (which were certainly bizarre enough) were sufficient to make him in contemporary people's eyes a martyr to the experimental method. I've added Aubrey's account so people can judge for themselves. --Straw Cat 21:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Those tending to hold to Bacon having been deeply involved in Rosicrucianism, Masonry, and writing under the names of others find the death first to be mysterious - and then funny. Funny in the sense that he was having people on and 'died a philosopher's death'. Four different people report upon his death, all four saying that he died at a different address, yet none stating that they even saw a body. There's never a mention of a dead body anywhere. It's notoriously difficult to prove a negative (that the death was unreal?) without firm evidence, and I don't attempt here to 'prove' it. But FB was well-known as a great wit, was well-travelled, and had plenty of places and contacts to retreat to following the bribery allegations. His tomb is in the small church opposite Gorhambury: but it was found to be empty. No body! Being acqainted with Bacon's work as well as others' accounts about him, it is possible to suspect both the comic and the ironic in the death episode. Biographer Fuller: "There is a legend that at Highgate he simply gave the world a slip and sailed via Holland for America. The end, like the beginning, is a mystery."Steranko 00:17, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Name[edit]

I've moved this page back to Francis Bacon, because he's by far the best known carrier of that name. Mackensen (talk) 01:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Instauratio Magna[edit]

This, as his most important philosophical work, deserves its own entry, even though or even more so as Novum Organum has one. I'd be willing to do a stub on which others could and should expand. Anyone interested? Maybe write on my talk page, then. Gwyndon 19:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Slashdot linkage[edit]

Heads up, folks. This article has been listed on Slashdot. --CoderGnome 05:34, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Link please? Mikker (...) 10:04, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Ask, and you shall receive: http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/10/1919216 CoderGnome 22:03, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Plate Tectonics[edit]

The wikipedia article on continental drift lists him as an important discoverer. I can't see anything about that in this article.--Screwball23 talk 14:08, 18 April 2006 (UTC)


Missing Works[edit]

This page is missing a lot of his works that can be found here. I will work on these in the future, but not now. --Rajah 02:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

There isn't even a reference to The New Atlantis in this article! <KF> 19:27, 2 November 2006 (UTC) (three months later)

Bacon pederasty[edit]

Engleham, I am not clear on your reasoning for deleting the "pederasty" categorization. I am well aware of the Elizabethan use of the term, but the article states specifically that he was accused of associating with youths, which, for an older man, is the clear demarcation for pederasty. That he also slept with young men does not in any way disqualify him from that category. Haiduc 11:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

An the evidence for all this would be...?
Perhaps in the very article: "John Aubrey in his Brief Lives states that Bacon was "a pederast"." Though it is granted that pederasts in those days included men who went to bed with older youths and even men, Bacon, while loving strapping youths in their twenties, also took in teenage boys, at least one at age fifteen. Haiduc 23:45, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Ummm... you can't use Wikipedia as a source in Wikipedia. If it is indeed "well known" that he was a pederast (and not just someone accused of pederasty, which is very different) please provide a reputable source. Mikker (...) 00:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Umm...John Aubrey? john k 10:41, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
John Aubrey was born 27 days before Bacon died... Aubrey was paid for his satirical, controversial writing, a precursor to Esquire magazine. Why does hearsay get so much credit on Wikipedia? Npov edit 08:27, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

This is just more of the same - NAMBLA supporters claiming several historical figures like Bacon were pederasts. Not a shred of evidence.

I don't speak english, but I know that there is at last two others testimonies about Bacon Homosexuality or pederasty : d'Ewes and Bacon's mother herself. That's very dishonest to claim that there is "not a shred of evidence" : that's simply false. You could say that if someone tried to claim that Henry the eight, Casanova or Kennedy is homosexual : here, not a shred of evidence, for sure, but in the case of Francis Bacon (the scientist, not the painter who was also homosexual), there is at least four evidences at different times, like Rictor Norton stated it. Be careful of the SUPPORTERS OF THE UNIVERSAL HETEROSEXUALITY who are very powerful and ready to hid the reality of homosexuality. What did you expect : a confession written by Francis Bacon saying : "Yes, I'm gay !" In that case, it's right that you could claim that it is not a true document. "Not a shred of evidence"? That's simply false.

Cultural depictions of Francis Bacon[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 17:34, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Parentage[edit]

There appears to be nothing on the main page (or indeed on this Talkpage) about the theory that Francis Bacon was the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (along with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex). Whilst this may be a purely romantic notion on the SirBacon website, there is reasonably documented evidence that Elizabeth visited Nicholas Bacon's house at Gorhambury at least twice [5] and was entertained by the 8 or 9 year old Francis [6]. It was here, surely, that he would have earned the title "little Lord Keeper", not at Cambridge when he was 12, as it says in the 3rd para of "Early life": "At Cambridge he first met the Queen, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to call him "the young Lord Keeper."" Can anyone provide other sources for the early meetings of Bacon and the queen, which may (or may not?!) shed light on their genetic links? 195.217.52.130 18:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the very title of a "Sir Bacon" website expresses why not better than any of us could! Bacon seems to attract the paraliterate. -Wetman 19:38, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The theory is hardly just the repository of one website(!), and has been looked at in detail in many books in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. For example, most recently by author Peter Dawkins in numerous books, and who holds week-long seminars at The Globe Theatre on the Authorship question. Alfred Dodd, in his "Francis Bacon's Personal Life-Story" purports to give the entire story of how Bacon discovered his actual royal parentage: a plain and not short account supposed to be in Bacon's own words. However the story is derived by reading a cipher into Shakespearean works, and the cipher side is not my forte. In 1981 Jean Overton Fuller's biography included fascinating scientific evidence by a leading geneticist, suggestive that his parents were other than those supposed. In Fuller's very detailed second chapter she does much research in the field into existing portraits and accounts of the eye colours and other characteristics of Bacon, and his supposed parents. Eventually she wrote to Prof. Brisco Ford, Fellow of the Royal Society, who responded: "You can certainly quote me in saying that if Sir Francis Bacon had dark brown eyes, and had both his parents had grey [as appears to be the case], the chance that he is illegitimate is very high indeed. It would be down to mutation level which, in this case, will be less than 1:100,000."Steranko 00:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Offspring[edit]

Why is there no refference to his three sons? Two moved to the states to creat there fortunes up-state New York. Although I can't find any info on line about them there are some things around town here where I live that at least one is mentioned.

You'd have to check out things on Lake George, Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Glens Falls Even French Indian War.

Also about Sir Bacons supposedly homosexuality, shouldn't the times in which he lived be taken into account? It's not so much homosexual activity if it's more a cultural thing, Women and young ladies where not really available to date so young men oftne "spent time" with other young men, and the various activities involved, it doesn't mean they favored it, it was just all that was around.*l*

My name is Bacon and I know I am related, I am just looking for the proof and actual documentation If anyone can help...Thanks

How do you know that he had three sons ? And do you think that he was pederast because he had no girls around him ?

External Link to Bacon's Essays[edit]

I found the following link to be useful for wikipedia users. I put the links up a couple of weeks ago but somebody took them down claiming they were redundant and that they were a conflict of interest - I'm pretty sure they're neither though. The books are in PDF format and I found them to be way easier to read than the Project Gutenberg, HTML, or plain text links that are already here. I just think it’d be a better option for people. I’ve found them quite useful. Should I put them up on the site? Or would somebody else like to?

http://www.magellanfreebooks.com/Books/Bacon-Essays.html

Jay ryann 20:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I have replied at User talk:Jay ryann expressing some concerns about the appropriateness (and possible conflict of interest) of these Magellan links, at least as they have been added so far (redundant, without bibliographic information, etc.). Wareh 16:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I have also replied at User talk: Jay ryann with clarification. I still think that it is the format that counts here and the PDF version is better for the average reader than the plain-text files of Gutenberg et al. (Not to say that Project Gutenberg isn't a tremendously valuable resource - because they are.) Jay ryann 20:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Curious paragraph[edit]

This paragraph seems to me a little curious: "In 1603 Bacon analyzed his own mental character and establishes his goals, which were threefold: discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Knowing that a prestigious post would aid him toward these ends, in 1580 he applied, through his uncle..." as it seems to imply that he was aware of these goals 23 years prior to actually establishing them. 85.225.8.121 12:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your analyses and have removed the offending sentence. If anyone has an objection please raise it here with a supporting citation for the verbage. Wjhonson 16:50, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

EB cleanup[edit]

I tagged this as requiring cleanup -- outdated EB language. General article quality is poor -- needs rewriting with ref to sources such as ODNB -- { Markku Peltonen, ‘Bacon, Francis, Viscount St Alban (1561–1626)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 17 April 2007 }

Another problem is that he has LGBT categs, but no info on this is mentioned in article. --mervyn 10:40, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

This would be because a massive amount of text was removed by a vandal. I've now restored the material, so maybe the refs you are after are in the restored text? Carcharoth 17:28, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

zachs dont touch: GETTING TO KNOW: FRANCIS BACON

1. Birthday: 22 Jan 1561 2. English philosopher 3. Statesman 4. Essayist 5. Defender of the scientific revolution 6. He created the scientific method 7. youngest of five sons of Sir Nicholas Bacon 8. At Cambridge he first met the Queen, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to call him "the young Lord Keeper". 9. In 1584 he took his seat in parliament for Melcombe in Dorset.

Influences and Influenced[edit]

I have started a discussion regarding the Infobox Philosopher template page concerning the "influences" and "influenced" fields. I am in favor of doing away with them. Please join the discussion there. RJC Talk 14:14, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

China[edit]

Bacon was in no sense a sinologist, and had no idea that his famous 'three inventions' came from China. This section needs to be edited. Simonwinchester 13:13, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Bacon and homosexuality[edit]

Some have attempted to link Bacon to homosexuality, and have quoted John Aubrey. John Aubrey certainly is not a credible source on Bacon. He was born 27 days before Bacon reportedly died. Also, Bacon did not address homosexuality in his book New Atlantis or his essays On Friendship and On Beauty. Stating that "recent scholarship generally accepts that he had homosexual inclinations" does not make it a true statement. And how on Earth can another person determine that someone has "homosexual inclinations". That is total nonsense. Aburesz 19:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Aubrey is not considered the litmus test of accuracy, but his comments are consistently quoted by biographers as accumulative supporting evidence, as it is assumed he had access to primary sources that have since disappeared and/or people who knew the people he wrote of. As with the majority of historical figures there is no direct evidence of homosexuality, but the supporting evidence is significant, and would certainly be considered enough to accuse someone of heterosexuality. It's highly indicative that every trace of his brother's conviction for sodomy was erased from English archives: we only know of it of course because of the diligence of Daphne du Maurier who found the records in France. In On Friendship and On Beauty Bacon addresses male love, or 'masculine love' as he significantly terms it in New Atlantis. Male love can obviously be platonic, but the term was also employed by the earliest writers who self-identified as what we now term homosexual, so it adds to the supporting evidence. Some of the referenced sources offer a deeper discussion of the context of Bacon's use of the term, and Elizabethan homosocial writing. It was I who originally referenced Mathews in the article as a scholarly source for the opinion that Bacon wasn't homosexual. In your change you retained Mathews, but deleted the other references I also supplied that show the spectrum of scholarly opinion. How true to type. I don't debate with sneaks, let alone bigots, so this is the only reply I shall offer you. But I do pity your patients. Engleham 11:30, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Aburesz, could you say what do you think of d'Ewes : Aubrey is not the only source about Bacon's homosexuality, like you falsely seem to believe. 83.200.60.64 12:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC) Candid.

There is no credible evidence that exists regarding Francis Bacon's imagined "homosexual inclinations" or actions. John Aubrey's "Brief Lives" is the kind of "documentation" that has been used. In his Foreward in the edition of Aubrey's "Brief Lives" published in 1962 by University of Michigan Press, Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He would try to get things down on paper the morning after a convivial evening - 'Sot that I am!' is the apologetic cry that is reiterated in his writings - when the people he was visiting were still in bed and he himself was suffering from hangover. He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people . . . "
Taking note of such terms as "bigot" and "sneak" leveled against me, and statements such as "I pity your patients", I would suggest Engleham review the Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks policy. Also of importance, Engleham states on his user page that he supports a "broad homosexual or bisexual agenda" - which could result in a violation of the Wikipedia:NPOV policy about maintaining a neutral point of view in the article entries. Wikipedia is intended to be a useful academic encyclopedia - not a forum for pushing personal agendas.
Francis Bacon's eloquent writings about Divine Love (a more transcendant form of Love than just "Platonic Love") can in no way be construed as being about sexual sense gratification. I love Engleham - but that does not mean I have "homosexual inclinations". Aburesz 14:38, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that Aubrey is not alone to state that Bacon was a "pederast" : d'Ewes was contemporary with Bacon and that's clear for him that Bacon was homosexual : he wrote that in his diaries ; they were not supposed to be published. Aubrey, D'Ewes and Bacon's mother, three different sources at different times. Do you think it's not enough ? Then for you is Francis Bacon heterosexual, and his brother too ? 83.200.60.64 14:48, 12 June 2007 (UTC) Candid.

Aburesz, you accuse Engleham to "support a broad homosexual or bisexual agenda", but let me say to you that Matthews, the "rehabilitater" of Francis Bacon was the student of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), who "blessed" her book. That teacher was known to be very homophobic and Matthews was for sure like him. Bacon' admirer and homophobic... It is not astonishing if she didn't want to believe all the sources of Bacon's homosexuality, that is not "imagined" contrary to the case of other historical personalities. There is an homophobic agenda too : Matthews, Osho, but I don't think that you are homophobic ; you are perhaps like Saint Thomas : you believe only what you can watch and it's difficult for homosexuality. In our societies, heterosexuality, even without sources, is more believable. That's comprehensible, but is it very neutral ? 83.200.60.64 17:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC) Candid

Francis Bacon was one of the most important and extraordinary historical innovators in the fields of literature, science, and philosophy in the last 4 centuries of Western civilization. Why would anyone feel it is relevant to an enclyclopedia entry about Francis Bacon to have a paragraph of speculation about his "sexual orientation"? I find this highly inappropriate for an academic compendium such as Wikipedia was intended to be.
Taking bits and pieces of various sladerous writings by Bacon's enemies and trying to build a case for homosexuality is ludicrous! As a supporter of Queen Elizabeth and later King James, and serving in public office, Francis had a number of envious and malicious adversaries: Edward Coke (a life-long rival who especially hated him), Wilson, Simonds D'Ewes, and Catherine Macaulay. During that time period in England, the worst verbal mud-slinging you could assault your enemy with was to call them a homosexual (or in their words, accuse them of the "sin of sodomy").
The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. II, 1846, contained a review of the Autobiography and Correspondence of Sir Simonds D'Ewes in which it was stated that his opinions of the men with whom he occasionally came into contact were very often not to be trusted, because, in the words of the reviewer: "D'Ewes was a narrow-minded man, who looked with strong prejudice upon everyone whose faith did not exactly square with his own, and in reference to such persons was uncharitably willing to believe all kinds of nonsense. Hence his slanders against Lord Bacon and Sir Robert Cotton, and his depreciation of Selden and many other persons."
Ann Bacon had a turbulent relationship with her 4 sons and her step-son Francis. (Baconian scholars are fully aware of the true biological parents of Francis, and that Nicholas and Ann Bacon were asked to raise Francis.) Her statements complaining about the company that her boys were keeping could never be rationally construed as indicating "homosexual inclinations". Aburesz 04:48, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

That's nothing but your intimate conviction. My intimate conviction is that Bacon had homosexual inclinations and that's not only my intimate conviction : that's prooved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.151.138 (talk) 18:01, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if Aubrey should be considered as an enemy of Bacon. If her mother was anxious about the acquaintances of his sons (don't forget that Anthony was convinced of sodomy in France), that was by sure not on speculations : she had a "turbulent relationship" with Francis... well, his behaviour contribute certainly to this kind of relationship. It's easy to "dismiss" the testimony of d'Ewes, because he is not in the way you are. He discusses Bacon's homosexuality with precision and facts. People tried to hid Bacon's homosexuality in D'Ewes diary, and in a sermon of 1619 too. Four different sources at different times and the case of Anthony seems to be like Francis'. The documents were falsified because, as you are an illustration, people don't want him to be homosexual. He was not te only man of the time with ennemies : why is he the only prominent politician of the time to be accused to be homosexual ? Perhaps because it's true. You seem to believe that he couldn't be homosexual because he was "one of the most important historical innovators in the fields of literature, science and philosophy." But other homosexual people are important figures : Francis Bacon the painter, Alan Mathison Turing, the creator of the idea of the computer, the architect Philip Johnson, the novelist Marcel Proust... I know : it's difficult for a straight man to admit that his hero is a homosexual and all you can do to convince yourself is to claim that all the different sources and clues are obviously false. If there were a single indirect testimony of more than alleged Bacon's heterosexuality, your behaviour would certainly be very different. But there is no testimony on Bacon's heterosexuality and it is not enough to disdain all the different people at different times, for different reasons who claim that Bacon was not an icon of sexual purity. But I know that these arguments are nothing to you and that you even can't imagine that Bacon was homosexual. That's a pitty, but Have a nive day. 83.200.60.64 11:37, 13 June 2007 (UTC) Candid.

And your precious 1846' "Gentleman's Magazine", how can these people say that d'Ewes is not believable ? I think that, for these people, d'Ewes is not believable only because he writes that Bacon is homosexual : d'Ewes writes that Bacon is homosexual, so he is not believable and then, as he's not believable, Bacon was not homosexual... That's interesting. 83.200.60.64 11:51, 13 June 2007 (UTC) Candid.

D'Ewes was a narrow-minded mind because he thought that Bacon's homosexuality was against nature. I think that people of the """Gentleman's Magazine""" were narrow-minded as well. And today, there is a lot of people like them : Matthew Nieves, Osho, and all people thinking they are wright because marvelous people can't be anything but straight, because they are straight themselves and they of course marvelous too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

" Why would anyone feel it is relevant to an enclyclopedia entry about Francis Bacon to have a paragraph of speculation about his "sexual orientation"?"

1. Because it enables a greater sense of the man. 2. Because it is considered significant enough to have been incorporated in every Bacon biography for the last two decades. 3. Because a significant amount of modern scholarship is focused on how it affected the development of his ontology. 124.180.236.69 12:51, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion, it doesn't matter what people on this page think. The article needs only to reference the differing points of view, expressed by scholars.
At the moment, the article's treatment of the subject is not quite satisfactory, in my opinion, because it is giving greater weight to primary sources than secondary ones: primary sources are quoted as evidence, while the comments of scholars are on the whole generalised into phrases such as "Some have attempted to link Bacon to homosexuality" and "Scholars have suggested that...", though the latter does note one scholar. It should be the other way round: bring what scholars have said directly into the article to show the readers the debate. The tone of the wording is also slightly suspect in places, as if the article is accusing Bacon of homosexuality: but if we are to adopt a modern approach, then we should not echo Bacon's contemporaries by insinuating that homosexuality is a fault or a sin. The following phrase strikes me as particularly misjudged in that respect: "Bacon exhibited a penchant for young Welsh serving-men..." (it makes it sound like a kink)—hardly neutral language. qp10qp 15:17, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but I insist on the fact that Matthews is not neutral about homosexuality and that she has no evidence that he was not homosexual. She attempts to make him a saint.


It certainly is not true that Bacon's supposed homosexuality has been "included in every Bacon biography in the last two decades." One assumes that the biographers who don't even raise the subject don't do so as they don't consider sources to be credible, and/or that there's a more convincing circumstantial case along the lines that it's doubtful he was.

On Anthony Francis, it's been noted that Daphne du Maurier thought him (not Francis) to be homosexual: why then is it not further noted that she thought him to have such inclinations, but chastely, and that charges against him were false? Aged thirty-eight, he wrote of physical problems to his doctor, adding that they could derive not from venereal disease as he had never had carnal contact. He would not, thinks du Maurier, have lied to his doctor. Spedding feels that Anthony's mother had "lost the command of her faculties some years before her death ... she was little better than frantic in her age". At the time, Francis Allen wrote to Anthony: "In my simple judgement, she spoke it in passion and repented immediately her words", as he'd found her to be in a general fury, accusing of anything that came into her head.

There's a good reason why many people won't understand the weight of evidence against the claim against FB, and the reason is that Bacon's membership - or even leadership - of the early Rosicrucians, and involvement in what may have evolved into Masonry isn't given enough emphasis in conventional biographies, or in the Wikipedia entry. It takes a fair amount of study to tease out the huge amount of data in support of this, as well as sources such as Bacon's notebook or 'Promus' which is the only existing 'Shakespeare notebook' i.e. the working out of ideas, phrases, and poetry before it was included in the plays - but written by Bacon! How is this relevant? A good knowledge of this side of Bacon's life leaves it quite abundantly clear that he was the pivotal or central figure to a large school of what we might actually call disciples.

Bacon wrote that at the age of but twelve, he conceived a vast plan for revolutionising the "whole wide world" through science, literature, and many other means; and that he never ceased in this vast project which he called "the Great Instauration". He most certainly didn't go about this vast task alone, but he also didn't go about much of it in his own name, or openly. Upon his death, over thirty great minds collected together their eulogies of him: it is clear from all these eulogies that he was not only "loved" - deeply, and certainly in the eulogies this is a platonic love - but that there was something about his character which led men even of the stature of Ben Jonson to hold him in reverence and awe. Jonson is surely writing of platonic love in his words: "I love the man, and do honour his memory above all others." This depth of platonic or Divine Love of a large body of men toward Bacon is misunderstood today, but can be comprehended somewhat in the manner that disciples love a master. Yes, it was love, and yes, many will have been younger men than Bacon. His mother has been quoted, but even she - who may not have been his biological mother according to some - may not have been taken into the understanding of what his meetings with young men were really about.

Considering all that Bacon is certainly known to have accomplished, but adding to this the many well-supported notions of what else he might have also accomplished behind the scenes (which in my view deserve greater attention in the article), it simply appears imbalanced to spend so many words discussing - his sexuality. This would be worthwhile and necessary if it were central to what he stood for: if, for example, he was chiefly some sort of sexual revolutionary of his day. Evidently he was not, yet from a few scattered sentences in first or secondary documents found to be suggestive, a good portion of the article is constructed! Not balanced, in my opinion. In fact, rather bizarre to lend it such weight, even if it were true. But some biographers consider the whole matter to have been deep and platonic, altruistic love, yet misunderstood. Steranko 01:14, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I had a big laugh over the suggestion that Francis was asexual. That escape clause was always the old favourite when denying historical gay figures a sexuality. e.g. Gustav Ungerer was spinning exactly that line about Anthony before du Maurier located his trial records. I don't know anyone who has entertained the belief that Bacon had buggered Jonson. As for his servants, that's a different matter. Bray suspects that it may have been the money Bacon gave them that brought the matter to notice: certainly, homosexual relations between masters and servants were clearly common enough to provide a rich field for the satirists, from Rochester and earlier. As for the weight allotted to it in the article: this is a classic Wikipedia charge. Any implication of homosexuality in an historical figure has to be detailed and fully referenced, otherwise it is then accused by the homophobic of being an unsupported allegation, with the resulting endless edit war. If the detailing is provided they then complain it's too much: indeed, in their eyes any reference to homosexuality at all only gives it validity -- which unlike heterosexuality, it is unworthy of. Get the picture? If Catch 22 didn't exist, they'd have had to invent it. In addition, the earlier point made on this thread that it should be properly detailed "Because a significant amount of modern scholarship is focused on how it affected the development of his ontology" is extremely valid. The growth of gay studies departments within universities in recent years, and the flood of research and interpretation, is having a significant impact, and is literally re-writing history. To give another tiny example: the discoveries and interpretations in Crompton's 'Byron and Greek Love' have affected every Byron biography published after 1985. Multiply this a thousand times, and one gets an idea of the tsunami of change. For the homophobic this presents a confronting situation. Tough tit. Engleham 08:55, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

A comment above begins: "I had a big laugh over the suggestion that Francis was asexual". I've read through the entries twice, and don't see that suggestion being made. I also wonder if it's considered laughable to suggest that anyone lives a celibate life anyway? If I may stray into the non-scholarly regions for a second, I personally know two males who feel heterosexual, yet have been celibate all their lives (now in their 50s), and two similar males who have lived a celibate life and probably don't know what their inclination is. Further, none of these are even celibate for religious or spiritual reasons. So I know that this is out there, factual, and not particularly laughable or serious either. Anthony Bacon wrote that he had never had carnal contact, aged thirty-eight. On consideration, it made me think how many mothers today would react or think if they knew their son had been with no woman and was thirty-eight. In an emotive state, one can easily imagine them coming out with words such as Anthony's mother ... which in this case some take as being 'evidence'!

Elsewhere here we read of "homophobic bigots". That's verging upon personal attack though not directed upon a single individual. Personally, I don't consider myself a bigot, and know for a fact I'm not homophobic. People are exercising their right here to correct what they regard as imbalance in the article. Personally I'm doing it for the sake of what I regard as accuracy, so far as we can arrive at it. That's an intellectual pursuit. It's rather less intellectual and somewhat emotive to use such language as I quote above. No need for it: let's get back to facts on the biography. Steranko 00:29, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

RfC discussion[edit]

(I note, in passing, that the comment immediately above may have been intended as part of this discussion, as it quotes part of the text of the RfC.)

I want to make a couple of points about this issue. I'd like to make clear at the outset that I write as someone who is fairly familiar with Wikipedia, but not at all familiar with Francis Bacon.

1. First of all, to those who would like to suppress any discussion of Bacon's sexual orientation in our article: Please note that discussions of the personal lives of the subjects are a very common feature of our articles on people. There is absolutely no reason to assert that this material is "unencyclopedic" because it simply is not.

2. It should be kept in mind that heterosexuals have always enjoyed the privilege of having their romantic relationships accepted and documented, while this privilege is extremely new for homosexuals, who have really only enjoyed it for about 10-15 years or so (and it's still in a very precarious position). This has obviously distorted the availability of primary sources and scholarly material on same-sex relationships. This doesn't mean we should change our standards for inclusion of material in Wikipedia (see my next point), but it means we should consider dialing down the contempt when we discuss these issues.

3. WP:V and WP:RS are paramount. Material that is included in the encyclopedia must be verifiable and reliably sourced. This means that groundless speculation has no place in Wikipedia. However, it does not mean that only mainstream points of view may be presented. WP:POV covers this explicitly. If there is scholarly speculation about Bacon's sexual orientation, it should be presented as exactly that; if there is a scholarly consensus that he was homosexual, that should be presented. However, as long as there is controversy among scholars over the issue, those differences of opinion should be covered in our article.

Sexuality of Abraham Lincoln is, in my opinion, an article that does a good job of presenting the various scholarly viewpoints on Lincoln's sexual orientation in an even-handed manner. It may be helpful in deciding on an approach for this article as well.

--Tkynerd 14:44, 13 June 2007 (UTC)


Hey people. First of all, the whole idea of speculating 4 centuries later about a historical figure's sexuality is ridiculous. If that person was a campaigner for sexual issues, or was involved in a sexual scandal that cost him his position, then it would make sense. Neither of these two scenarios was the case with Bacon. There were no sexual accusations or scandals that affected Francis Bacon's public life. Secondly, the groundless specualtion that has intruded into this article is so weak, that even the National Enquirer or any other gossip tabloid would consider it below their standards! Artemis1102 12:42, 16 June 2007 (UTC)


Hey, guys, Nieves Matthews was an homophobic narrow-minded biographer. She didn't know anything about homosexuality like a lot of people. You should read Havelock Ellis, who was a specialist of sexuality, homosexuality and a humanist :

While Shakespeare thus narrowly escapes inclusion in the list of distinguished inverts, there is much better ground for the inclusion of his great contemporary, Francis Bacon. Aubrey in his laboriously compiled _Short Lives_, in which he shows a friendly and admiring attitude toward Bacon, definitely states that he was a pederast. Aubrey was only a careful gleaner of frequently authentic gossip, but a similar statement is made by Sir Simonds D'Ewes in his _Autobiography_. D'Ewes, whose family belonged to the same part of Suffolk as Bacon's sprang from, was not friendly to Bacon, but that fact will not suffice to account for his statement. He was an upright and honorable man of scholarly habits, and, moreover, a trained lawyer, who had many opportunities of obtaining first-hand information, for he had lived in the Chancery office from childhood. He is very precise as to Bacon's homosexual practices with his own servants, both before and after his fall, and even gives the name of a "very effeminate-faced youth" who was his "catamite and bedfellow"; he states, further, that there had been some question of bringing Bacon to trial for sodomy. These allegations may be supported by a letter of Bacon's own mother (printed in Spedding's _Life of Bacon_), reproving him on account of what she had heard concerning his behavior with the young Welshmen in his service whom he made his bedfellows. It is notable that Bacon seems to have been specially attracted to Welshmen (one might even find evidence of this in the life of the Welshman, Henry VII), a people of vivacious temperament unlike his own; this is illustrated by his long and intimate friendship with the mercurial Sir Toby Mathew, his "alter ego," a man of dissipated habits in early life, though we are not told that he was homosexual. Bacon had many friendships with men, but there is no evidence that he was ever in love or cherished any affectionate intimacy with a woman. Women play no part at all in his life. His marriage, which was childless, took place at the mature age of 46; it was effected in a business-like manner, and though he always treated his wife with formal consideration it is probable that he neglected her, and certain that he failed to secure her devotion; it is clear that toward the end of Bacon's life she formed a relationship with her gentleman usher, whom subsequently she married. Bacon's writings, it may be added, equally with his letters, show no evidence of love or attraction to women; in his _Essays_ he is brief and judicial on the subject of Marriage, copious and eloquent on the subject of Friendship, while the essay on Beauty deals exclusively with masculine beauty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I came here from RFC. I'd like to make 2 comments -

Comment 1: One would expect any biographical article to document the significant interpersonal relationships of its subject. In addition, where those relationships were the source of contemporary scandal, one would expect either the scandal or the accusations to be documented too. However, if the accusations were of a scurrilous or political nature, without substance and designed to defame, then obviously it is the impact of the accusations on the life and career of the subject that is of importance; if the impact was negligible then they should be omitted. A good example of someone with all three varieties (as well as plenty of scurrilous undocumented accusations) is Bill Clinton.
Summary: I think that some information about Bacon's interpersonal relationships should be included; the nature of those relationships should determine exactly what to include and the manner of its presentation.
Comment 2: I'm looking at the paragraph of the article that begins with John Aubrey (1626–1697) in his Brief Lives writes that Bacon was "a pederast". I don't think that that this is the best way to present this information; as it stands this paragraph reads like an essay or academic paper, setting out arguments, quotations and evidence to support a conclusion. As an essay this is fine; in an encylopedia article it is not. In large parts it constitutes (or at least reads as) original research. If scholarly text exists to support a conclusion then the conclusion should be documented and cited; it is not necessary to document the premises that led to that conclusion. It may be appropriate to summarize the nature of the arguments for example: Dr John Clever argues that contemorary accounts suggest that Jane Notable had several homosexual affairs. Including excerpts from such hypothetical accounts to support a conclusion is the job of the academic and not of the encylopedia editor.
Summary: Present and summarize conclusions not the minutiae of the arguments.
CIreland 22:33, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

That's a lovely dream. Unfortunately, with regard to homosexuality (or any other contentious issue for that matter) it never works on Wikipedia. See my earlier comment for the details as to why. Engleham 00:36, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

The material on Bacon's sexual interests is well sourced and of great historical interest, as it begins to fill in an under-reported aspect in the lives of notable individuals. If this was an encyclopedia of philosophy, or of scientific history, then one might argue that his personal life was not germane to the topic. However, since this is a general encyclopedia, to which people of all stripes are likely to resort, even gender studies scholars or their acolytes, it behooves us to cover all aspects of his life, not just his professional contributions. Haiduc 04:03, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, the page is reading increasingly oddly. One might come to the article to read about Bacon in general and find one has stumbled into a detailed prosecution of the chap for homosexuality, as if it were still a crime. In my opinion, it would be more appropriate for the article to take the isue of homosexuality in its stride rather than getting carried away over it and lining up primary sources to prove the point. The issue is dealt with disproportionately, in my opinion (the article has only half a sentence on Bacon's prosecution of the earl and duchess of Somerset, for example, one of the momentous events of the age). qp10qp 04:39, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Hey guys, what's wrong with this picture? Someone lifted entire sections from Rictor Norton's "Gay History & Literature Essays" website. It has been pointed out that the accusations by Simonds D'Ewes, the political and religious enemy of Francis Bacon, were of a scurrilous nature, without substance and designed to defame - and written in a private diary! It was pointed out on this page that John Aubrey was born 27 days before Bacon died (actually his feigned "death" on Easter Sunday 1626) - so how can anyone call him a "contemporary"? It was pointed out on this page that the stepmother of Francis, Ann Cooke Bacon, made negative statements about the friends of Francis, but that: "she spoke it in passion and repented immediately her words".

So with these phony arguments exposed as the misrepresentations that they are, why have you not edited these two paragraphs to make them neutral as Wikipedia describes the policy at WP:NPOV, or simply removed this trash copied from Rictor Norton's homosexual agenda website ???? Artemis1102 04:44, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, "written in a private diary" ; that's why the testimony is of great value!!!!!!! Private statement is more sincere than public accusations. Bacon had a lot of servants. Aubrey and d'Ewes knew that Bacon was homosexual, because one or several servants made indiscretions. It is not very clever to claim that a private diary is not as valuable than a public accusation. Don't you think that private diaries are more sincere ? Is Samuel Pepys not a good example ? The argumentation of "Aburesz" and "Artemis" is really weak and not valuable. But they're wright : Homosexuality is of course trash, dirty and against nature. At the contrary, straight people are kind, honest, unblemished, and are genious. Don't you think that without homosexuality, the world would be much better ? That would be the better way to suppress homophoby, don't you think ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:21, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


I have repeatedly attempted to modify these paragraphs to make them neutral (NPOV), only to be personally attacked and have the entire excerpts from Rictor Norton's web site essay put right back into this article. Aburesz 13:23, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Homophobic bigots are SO platitudinous:

1. Demand endless citing of sources.

2. Endeavour to discount them when they're provided.

3. When that fails, suggest the whole topic is trivial.

4. When that fails...wait for it...suggest plagiarism!

One has to laugh. Usually it's just steps 1,2 & 3, rinse and repeat. However, this Step 4 is a whole new one I'm now thrilled to document. Especially as I wrote the majority of the text they refer to. How delightful to have my writing mistaken for that of the eminent Dr Norton. But of course, there is no mistake on their part, and no plagiarism. For this is nothing more than a pathetic try on...in their hope that the paragraphs will be edited out. This is not to say I believe these types have come within *a mile* of any of the works I read and referenced to provide the primary source quotes. But as we've seen earlier (see my documenting comment of 11:30, 12 June 2007), they'll try ANYTHING if they think they can get away it. Such types are beyond shame. It's just a game for them. Engleham 15:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The evidence seems substantial, well-documented, and presented in a reasonably balanced way. (I have removed one tendential adverb, however.) My interest in Bacon is philosophical, but the controversy's existence during his lifetime makes it reasonable that it appears as part of his biography in the present manner.Hgilbert 19:41, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
The so-called "evidence" is not substantial, well-documented, or presented in a reasonably balanced way. As someone pointed out, these paragraphs are presented as if this was a "detailed prosecution of the chap for homosexuality". And the hint that there has been "uncovered new supporting evidence" simply falls apart when you actually look at the Jardine & Stewart book Hostage to Fortune. Since I have this and all the other sources referenced by Engleham in my own extensive library, unsubstantiated claims will not slip by my notice. Aburesz 20:40, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
WP:OWN. --Tkynerd 21:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The evidences of Bacon's homosexuality are substantial. It is not the case of Aburesz' argumentation. He should write why he thinks that Bacon was heterosexual : is there "substantial evidence" to make a case about Bacon's heterosexuality ? It would be a best way to expose them. But it is not possible, because Bacon was homosexual. And there is not other way for homophobic people to use a negative and unsubtantial argumentation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:16, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea whether Bacon was homosexual or not and no objections to the point being raised as part of his biography, but one doesn't need to know anything about the issue to see that the paragraphs concerned are not in keeping with Wikipedia policy on two grounds:
1. They use primary sources too heavily.
An article or section of an article that relies on a primary source should (1) only make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge, and (2) make no analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims. Contributors drawing on entirely primary sources should be careful to comply with both conditions.(W:NPOV)
So if you want to make a case, quote the scholars rather than the primary sources upon which the scholars have based their conclusions, since the readers will largely not have the knowledge and specialist skills to evaluate the primary sources quoted.
2. The matter is overemphasized and allotted space disproportionate to the information in the rest of this fairly short article, thereby giving it undue weight.
Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. Just as giving undue weight to a viewpoint is not neutral, so is giving undue weight to other verifiable and sourced statements. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. (W:NOR)
qp10qp 22:00, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

(personal attack removed) Wrad 22:25, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


1. I would like to point out that there was no public controversy about Bacon involving sexuality during his lifetime, and Bacon's government service and public life was not affected by even by D'Ewes attempts to start a controversy.
2. I heartily agree with User:Tkynerd that the Wikipedia policy on "Ownership" WP:OWN should be kept in mind. There should not be editors who keep distorting this article on Francis Bacon with a highly biased point of view, using overemphasized and unsubstantiated claims, and (as noted by User:Qp10qp) allotting a disproportionate amount of space to the matter thereby giving it undue weight.
3. When I have attempted to edit the paragraphs in question to bring a more neutral point of view, there have been immediate reverts back to the lengthly, biased and disproportionate version (along with continuing personal attacks). Aburesz 01:09, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I now feel constrained to explain that my reference to WP:OWN was in response to your statement above: "unsubstantiated claims will not slip by my notice." That makes it sound as if you have appointed yourself sole gatekeeper for this article, which isn't appropriate. Obviously it's good if all editors work to ensure that statements in Wikipedia articles, especially controversial statements, are properly sourced, but there's a fine line between doing that and taking over an article completely. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, and I'm also sorry if I've misunderstood you, but that's how your statement sounded to me. --Tkynerd 03:56, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
You did misunderstand me, but it was my fault for not explaining myself. I apologize for not making myself more clear in what I intended.
I meant to say that when someone acts as if they have taken over the article completly, reverting other people's edits that are given in good faith to improve the accuracy of the article, and makes all kinds of unsubstantiated statements trying to convince others of the validity of their view, someone else who has those same sources should see if they are verifiable. I have the same sources that Engleham / Rictor Norton quote from, and those sources certainly do not substantiate their claims. When I wrote "unsubstantiated claims will not slip by my notice" - I meant that I will not be fooled by claims of "documentation" that - upon examination - are not what they are claimed to be, since I happen to have the same resources that enable me to check each claim that is made personally, and not merely take what someone else claims is documented - simply on faith.
For example, the statement in the paragraphs in question that there has been "uncovered new supporting evidence" simply fell apart when I actually went back again to my copy of the Jardine & Stewart book Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon and saw the utter insignificance of the "catamites" not "Latinities" issue. Someone else not having access to that book might simply believe that there is something definitive and substantial in that book, and therefore it must be important enough to mention in an encyclopedia article on Francis Bacon.
Another example is the quote from Ann Bacon that is conveniently lifted out of context. I went back to my copy of the book edited by James Spedding An Account of the Life and Times of Francis Bacon and looked at the context of that quote. Ann was exasperated that money that was owed to her sons was not being paid back, and she lashed out angrily regarding the one who owed the debts. In the process, she said some things that were meant to be derogatory. There are a number of Ann's other letters that are quoted in that book, and no where is there anything of significance that should belong in an encyclopedia article about Francis Bacon. Aburesz 04:59, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

"Some authors, such as Rictor Norton, have tried to link Bacon to homosexuality. [1] However scholars such as Mathews [2] have found no evidence of homosexuality in Bacon's life." Matthews, who was homophobic didn't try to found evidence of homosexuality in Bacon's life : she tried to deny it and to link Bacon to heterosexuality. But if there is evidences of Bacon's homosexuality, as non homophobic authors stated it, there is not even a clue of his heterosexuality. The problem with Mathews is that she says that Bacon was not homosexual because she claims that all the testimonies are not credible. That's her right to state that there could be more reliable testimonies : there would be no discussion -I think, but is it sure ?- if we had a letter in wich Bacon deals with homosexuality. But Mathews claims that the proofs of Bacon's heterosexuality is that all the sources about his homosexuality are not sure : hostile people claim that Bacon was homosexual, so he was heterosexual, for Mathews. It isn't an indisputable point of view. In fact, it's obvious that Mathews had a purpose : to be the "rehabilitator" of Bacon. That's why she must claim -without proof- that Bacon was obviously a heterosexual, because she thinks that homosexuality is the evil -if she thinks what her master Osho thinks and this is for sure the case. Therefore, that's "ludicrous" to say that Bacon was not homosexual because "scholars such as Mathews have found no evidence of homosexuality in Bacon's life." You should write "homophobic rehabilitators such as Mathews..." Candid 10:55, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Do you want a quote of the Work of Osho, the man who "blessed" the book of Nieves Matthews, saying that Bacon was obviously not homosexual ? Thereafter, say that she is neutral about homosexuality:

"If you want to be angry, be angry against Jesus Christ. Be angry against all the founders of religions. They all say, "Believe and you will be saved." And I say to you, "Believe and you are drowned." I say to you, "Doubt, because that is something that you have come with. Nature has provided you a method for inquiry. Doubt is a method of inquiry." In ten thousand years of religious history, religions have not contributed anything -- except AIDS, homosexuality, lesbianism, sadism, masochism, wars, discrimination -- all kinds of crimes: killing millions of people, burning living people. They are all based on belief. Science -- which is based on doubt -- has contributed within three hundred years everything from the smallest safety pin to the rocket that reaches to the moon. If you count the blessings that science has showered on you you will be surprised. Your clothes, your glasses, your watches, your health, your medicine, your food -- everything science has improved. Science has only been unsuccessful in improving you, because all the religions are sitting on your neck. I want you to get rid of all the religions and become a scientific seeker. " Osho. Candid 12:39, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

For Osho and Mathews, homosexuality, that's like wars, discrimination and crime. I'm sorry, but I think that Jardine and Stewart are more neutral than Mathews. Even Rictor Norton, who is a gay-friendly historian of homosexuality is more neutral than Mathews, because he doesn't try to hid the reality : there is several documents about Francis Bacon's """"""alleged"""""" homosexuality. But it is not "alleged" because it's an "absurd theory", like Mathews writes because of his opinions, but because Bacon himself didn't say that he was homosexual. He didn't say that because he wasn't, but because it was dangerous. Candid 16:18, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Aburesz writes that the "catamites" not Latinies" issue is not "signifiant. But it is, in a way : that's an example of homophobic forgery. There is other examples. It shows that scholars who write that there is "no evidence" of homosexuality are not credible because sometimes, there is hidden evidences. And these scolars like Mathews are in the category of the falsifiers. Nobody can say that there is no censure about homosexuality. Candid 16:38, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Improvements to the Francis Bacon article[edit]

Instead of personal attacks, such calling others "Homophobic bigots", let's get on with the work of improving this article. I would suggest someone deal with restructuring these disproportionate homosexual allegations paragraphs. There should be the freedom to correct what many regard as imbalance in this article.

Wording that is factually inaccurate should be corrected. For example, "A number of contemporary sources allude . . . " is not correct. The only quote from a "contemporary" actually came from a 3 May 1621 private diary entry from one contemporary (yes ONLY one "contemporary") - the self-proclaimed enemy of Francis Bacon in Parliament: Simonds D'Ewes. What is not generally known is that he was also a religious extremist who thought his religion demanded that homosexuals be hunted down and executed. He even preached a public sermon in 1619 calling for their public executions!

The presenting and debating of various minutia that purportedly advance a theory lies within the purview and scope of an author, researcher, or scholar in their own published works. In my opinion, such should not be interjected into a biographical entry in an encyclopedia. Aburesz 22:34, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that his mother is not a contemporary? Haiduc 00:48, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Ann Bacon was a contemporary who did not "allude to Bacon's alleged propensity for romantic and physical relations with young males". The quote from Ann Bacon was taken out of context. I went back to my copy of the book edited by James Spedding An Account of the Life and Times of Francis Bacon and looked at the context of that quote. Ann was exasperated that money that was owed to her sons was not being paid back, and she lashed out angrily regarding the one who owed the debts. In the process, she said some things that were meant to be derogatory. There are a number of Ann's other letters that are quoted in that book, and no where is there anything of significance that should belong in an encyclopedia article about Francis Bacon. Aburesz 02:00, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Ann Bacon "alludes", that's the good word. She didn't "claim." The choose of words is really important, you see. Candid 11:32, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

In the Wikipedia article on Dwight Eisenhower, the former U.S. President's miltary and government careers are described in a fairly well organized manner. There is no mention of his secret relationship with Kay Summersby Morgan. There had been rumors of this during his presidency, however these did not impact on his public life or career. Therefore these are not mentioned in the text of the article. Towards the bottom of the article there is a "See also" section that contains internal links to other Wikipedia articles. One of these links is to the Wikipedia article on Kay Summersby.
Despite recent speculation, Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving sexuality during his lifetime. I agree with CIreland when he stated on this page: "However, if the accusations were of a scurrilous or political nature, without substance and designed to defame, then obviously it is the impact of the accusations on the life and career of the subject that is of importance; if the impact was negligible then they should be omitted." Aburesz 14:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


"Instead of personal attacks, such calling others "Homophobic bigots", let's get on with the work of improving this article."

Yes. And showing up a contributor as dishonest serves no fruitful purpose. As for the suggestion of Bacon's homosexuality, it should be ruthlessly dismissed for the purposes of balance, and those mentioning the growing role it plays in modern interpretations of Bacon's works, and the majority of current scholars who support such nonsense, studiously ignored. Engleham 14:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. Why don't they pick on someone else? Look at Henry VIII in those tights, huh? And that bit with chopping off wives heads. If that doesn't show a certain distain for women, what does? Student7 11:22, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Light faster than sound[edit]

While it sounds intuitive now, Bacon was the first to record that light travels faster than sound and, implicit in that statement, that light was propagated (information). I don't have a reference on this or would insert it. In other Wikipedia articles! Student7 12:17, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Improving the Francis Bacon article[edit]

In my opinion, THERE ARE THREE OBVIOUS FACTS:

FACT # 1 - There is a majority consensus that the WP:POV paragraphs trying make a case for Francis Bacon being a homosexual are unsatisfactory as they now stand, and are disproportionate to their significance.

FACT # 2 - There is not a single author, researcher, or scholar who has indicated that there was a public controversy about Bacon involving sexuality during his lifetime. In my opinion, it is the impact of any accusations (or attempts to "allude") on the life and career of a historical figure that determine whether their importance warrants inclusion in an article such as this. Again I repeat - Bacon's government service and public life were not affected by any such attempts.

FACT # 3 - In surveying my library of books about Francis Bacon, it appears that there are several authors who are not neutral and who have tried to reinterpret history according to a non-traditional "homosexual or bisexual agenda" : Rictor Norton, Alan Stewart, Alan Bray, C. R. Forker, Graham L. Hammill, & A. L. Rowse. The vast majority of the Bacon authors and scholars do not even consider such speculation worth mentioning: Virginia M. Fellows, Alfred Dodd, Jerry Weinberger, Jean Overton Fuller, Kendra H. Baker, William Stone Booth, Peter Dawkins, Mrs. Pott Henry, Perez Zagorin, Daphne Du Maurier, F. H Anderson, William Stone Booth, Stephen Gaukroger, Brian Vickers, Alexander B. Grofart, Richard Ramsbotham, R. W. Church, S.A.E. Hickson, Reginald Walter Gibson, Max Patrick, Antonio Perez Ramos, Edward. D. Johnson, P. Rossi, Arthur Cornwall, J.G. Crowther, J. Duchaussoy, and Benjamin Farrington, Kenneth R. Patton, Julian Martin, Antoinette Mann Paterson, Peter Urbach, Sam Schoenbaum, George V. Tudhope, Parker Woodward, Brian Vickers, John Henry, Ross Jackson, Henry Peacham, William Smedley, Karl Hollenbach, Mary Horton, A. Hassell Smith, Karl Wallace, Mather Walker, Nigel B.Cockburn, Walter Ellis, Manly P. Hall, Howard B. White, Charles Whitney, John Michell, Virgil K. Whitaker, Byron Steel, Penn Leary, and B.H.G. Wormald Aburesz 21:37, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

In response to your point 3 (which I don't think should be labeled "fact"), I'm going to repost something I originally posted above at the beginning of the RfC discussion.
2. It should be kept in mind that heterosexuals have always enjoyed the privilege of having their romantic relationships accepted and documented, while this privilege is extremely new for homosexuals, who have really only enjoyed it for about 10-15 years or so (and it's still in a very precarious position). This has obviously distorted the availability of primary sources and scholarly material on same-sex relationships. This doesn't mean we should change our standards for inclusion of material in Wikipedia (see my next point), but it means we should consider dialing down the contempt when we discuss these issues.
The evaluation of primary and secondary sources for evidence of the homosexual or bisexual orientation of a historical figure is, by definition, "non-traditional," since that kind of research has only existed for about forty years or so (sixty, tops). Dismissing it out of hand for that reason, and insisting on sticking entirely to "traditional" sources, means ignoring modern scholarship and doesn't accord with WP:RS. All sources should be evaluated by the criteria set out on that page.
Finally, references to a "homosexual or bisexual agenda" are at least as WP:POV as anything I have yet seen posted in the article. --Tkynerd 23:33, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure that Wieland Schmied is a biographer of Francis Bacon the scientist ? I make perhaps a mistake, but I think that he is a biographer of the painter : I'm looking on the web. If it is so, are you sure of all you are writing ? 90.3.36.61 23:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes you are correct. I had ordered a bunch of books about Francis Bacon from Amazon.com recently, and mistakenly included the other Francis Bacon. The book I would especially recommend is by William Smedley, who wrote The Mystery of Francis Bacon. Aburesz 01:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

(1) The "fact" that I was referring to was that the vast majority of the Bacon authors and scholars that I had read had not considered such speculation on Bacon's sexuality worthy of mentioning. When I read what was claimed in this Wikipedia article on Francis Bacon, I immediately ordered quite a number of additional books that I did not yet have, and checked on-line resources to try to discover what the basis for the speculation was. By the way, I found a good resource that provides the text of out of print books on-line: The Questia Online Library "http://www.questia.com".

(2) Regarding expressing my point of view, is that not what a "Talk:Francis Bacon" page for discussing improvements to the Francis Bacon article is intended to be for? How else can this article be improved without discussing each one's point of view? However - the article itself should be neutral. (See WP:NPOV) Aburesz 03:18, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The point is that your POV affects how you evaluate sources, which affects the article. You appear to have a POV and to be systematically excluding reliably sourced material from the article that differs from your POV. That violates WP:NPOV. --Tkynerd 15:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

If these scholars don't write anything about the fact that contemporaries thought that Bacon was "a pederast" -and that's very possible that others clues were destroyed-, it quite possible that these scholars are not so neutral. neutral people should say : there are clues about Bacon's homosexuality but we can't be absolutely sure that he was homosexual. Point. 195.220.121.25 09:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Aburesz, if you did made important mistake, I suspect you to ignore what these scholars wrote about Bacon. And that's very ironic : Wieland Schmied's Book contains references about homosexuality ; it is not the same Bacon, but you can't be sure that the other scholars don't discuss Bacon's homosexuality. And if some scholars are not interested in Bacon's homosexuality, that's not the proof that he wasn't. Actually, the only possible tiny proof of his heterosexuality is that he get married, but very late and, I quote one of your scholars, Alfred Dodd that was in a political way :

"Bacon had saved himself three years previously from being excommunicated altogether from the public service by his readiness for an engagement with a child of eleven years (Alice Barnham), a commoner. He was now going to open the door to State offices by his marriage to the "handsome wench" of thirteen, according to his bargain with the King and Cecil."

And I don't think the better solution is to avoid the subject. That would be censure. 195.220.121.25 09:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I am definitely not for censure, but I am aware of academic standards. Wikipedia policies have attempted to emulate those standards.
Considerations of government offices and alliances are a well-documented historical fact. An example of this was Queen Jadwiga of Poland. She was married at the age of twelve in order to unite Poland with Lithuania in 1385.
In today's more elightened atmosphere (at least in the West), I - along with most people - consider condemnation of other individuals for homosexuality to be abhorrent and not acceptable. I personally consider such contempt for others to be disrespectful of the essential Divinity of every man, woman, and child!
Unfortunately, respect for each one's dignity was sometimes not espoused in the unenlightened 16th and 17th century political and social discourse. Especially during the reign of James I, one of the verbal weapons used by opponents at that time was the accusation of "unnatural vice".
A few isolated sentences in primary or secondary sources that a few authors found to be suggestive is not reason enough to create an imbalanced non-neutral section in this article. As qp10qp pointed out above: "The matter is overemphasized and allotted space disproportionate to the information in the rest of this fairly short article, thereby giving it undue weight." Aburesz 16:57, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

What you are writing is not unreasonable. The text about homosexuality is perhaps too long : it is possible to put a link to Rictor Norton. But don't write that Bacon's homosexuality is an absurd theory because it isn't. Candid 19:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I remove that : "Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving sexuality", because it is already said that D'Ewes was not an indisputable source. However, that's right the homosexuality of humanists like Marcus Antonius Muretus or Georg Joachim Rheticus is more documented. Candid 13:01, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

If you don't believe John Aubrey, then remove all Aubrey, even about Bacon's Death.

I have been following the discussion on this page for the last several months. Someone wrote: "Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving sexuality." I believe that placing speculation about Bacon's sexual preference in the section titled "Career" appears to be out of place. I would submit that merely because an author decides to publish his own theory about someone does not entitle it to be mentioned in the "Career" section of a biographical article. I believe that this paragraph should either be eliminated or moved to another section, possibly "Posthumous reputation". Emery 19:40, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure that this paragraph is not at the right place, but if someone want to move it to "Posthumous reputation." -actually not so posthumous- I think it is all right. But "elimination" would be censure. Candid 20:13, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


Categorization of Bacon[edit]

I realize that the issue of Bacon's homosexuality seems to have a lack of general consensus, both here on Wiki AND in the scholarly world -- and that's fine for the moment, seeing as we're all 400 years out from his lifetime. That being said... is it really appropriate to have him placed in the "LGBT" and "Gay Writers" categories? If the issue is in question, the category tag shouldn't be there, should it? Just as he shouldn't have a tag for "Heterosexual Writers" or "Pedarastic Writers," seeing as both of those are in question as well. I'm not a long-term contributor to the Bacon page, so I'm leaving it up to the more regular editors to delete the tags or modify them for now.

And before anyone tries to paint me as "homophobic" for suggesting that the category tags shouldn't be there: I would have ZERO qualms about saying Fracis Bacon was gay -- IF proof was conclusive, as opposed to what seems to be a personal attack from a rival (even if it was in his own diary -- I've written some nasty stuff about people in my own diary that wasn't true, as a measure of cathartic release), a person born shortly before Bacon's death, and commments about his friends by his stepmother. Until such proof is availabe, isn't it wiser and more appropriate to just not have the category tags?

Cheers! 74.134.228.189 21:30, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above observations, and have removed those 2 category tags, as well the "English Astrologers" category. No books have portrayed him as an astrologer. Arion 04:09, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but there are severals sources -three- stating that he was gay -it isn't perfect- and none stating that he was heterosexual. That's all. And Nieves Matthews write that he was of course heterosexual write that because she was homophobic -and that is sure-, not because she can prove it. She can't prove it because there isn't any source stating that he was attracted by his wife or that he had mistresses. But there is sources stating that he was attracted by boys. He was homosexual, that's sure, because the heterosexual claims are unsubstantiated, not the homosexual ones.

The statement of Havelock Ellis is very clever. He didn't think that Shakespeare was homosexual. That's my mind too, but he knew that Bacon was homosexual and I agree too : While Shakespeare thus narrowly escapes inclusion in the list of distinguished inverts, there is much better ground for the inclusion of his great contemporary, Francis Bacon. Aubrey in his laboriously compiled _Short Lives_, in which he shows a friendly and admiring attitude toward Bacon, definitely states that he was a pederast. Aubrey was only a careful gleaner of frequently authentic gossip, but a similar statement is made by Sir Simonds D'Ewes in his _Autobiography_. D'Ewes, whose family belonged to the same part of Suffolk as Bacon's sprang from, was not friendly to Bacon, but that fact will not suffice to account for his statement. He was an upright and honorable man of scholarly habits, and, moreover, a trained lawyer, who had many opportunities of obtaining first-hand information, for he had lived in the Chancery office from childhood. He is very precise as to Bacon's homosexual practices with his own servants, both before and after his fall, and even gives the name of a "very effeminate-faced youth" who was his "catamite and bedfellow"; he states, further, that there had been some question of bringing Bacon to trial for sodomy. These allegations may be supported by a letter of Bacon's own mother (printed in Spedding's _Life of Bacon_), reproving him on account of what she had heard concerning his behavior with the young Welshmen in his service whom he made his bedfellows. It is notable that Bacon seems to have been specially attracted to Welshmen (one might even find evidence of this in the life of the Welshman, Henry VII), a people of vivacious temperament unlike his own; this is illustrated by his long and intimate friendship with the mercurial Sir Toby Mathew, his "alter ego," a man of dissipated habits in early life, though we are not told that he was homosexual. Bacon had many friendships with men, but there is no evidence that he was ever in love or cherished any affectionate intimacy with a woman. Women play no part at all in his life. His marriage, which was childless, took place at the mature age of 46; it was effected in a business-like manner, and though he always treated his wife with formal consideration it is probable that he neglected her, and certain that he failed to secure her devotion; it is clear that toward the end of Bacon's life she formed a relationship with her gentleman usher, whom subsequently she married. Bacon's writings, it may be added, equally with his letters, show no evidence of love or attraction to women; in his _Essays_ he is brief and judicial on the subject of Marriage, copious and eloquent on the subject of Friendship, while the essay on Beauty deals exclusively with masculine beauty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 22:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

BE CAREFUL : REMEMBER THAT NIEVES MATTHEWS DENIED BACON'S HOMOSEXUALITY BECAUSE SHE WAS STRONGLY HOMOPHOBIC. IT'S NOT VALUABLE. HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE ARE VOLUNTARILY BLIND AND DISHONEST —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:25, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

SHE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OSHO, WHO SAID TO HER TO CLAIM WITHOUT PROOF THAT BACON WAS HETEROSEXUAL. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW WHO IS OSHO. SEE THE TALK DISCUSSION ABOUT HIM. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 20:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Merge material from Idols of the mind[edit]

I suggest that the short, unwikified article 'Idols of the mind' be merged into the Francis Bacon article. The information in the 'Idols' article is interesting and would be a valuable part of the Bacon article, and the Baocn article is not be made an unwieldly size by its inclusion. In spite of the usefulness of its material, the 'Idols' page will probably never be developed into a significant stand alone article. Anarchia 06:34, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this would be a good addition. However we need a reference source for this. Arion 17:00, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I reckon. Do it.

Lin 11:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Philosophy importance rating[edit]

According to the importance assessment criteria fo philosophy, an article is of high importance when: "The article covers a topic that is vital to understanding philosophy." I contend that understanding Francis Bacon is not vital for understanding philosophy. I, therefore, propose that the article be rated 'mid' importance for philosophy.Anarchia 07:36, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I contend that understanding Francis Bacon is vital for understanding philosophy. Therefore the rating should be "high importance". Arion 17:01, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
you may contend whatever you want, in the end, bacon is somewhere in low-mid in importance given a brief analysis of the contents of philosophy textbooks and syllabi, where he is quite rare. if you can provide evidence of the centrality of his work to the field, please share it. --Buridan 14:53, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Bertrand Russell in his History of Western Philosophy considers him important enough to have his own chapter.--Straw Cat 20:38, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

On the three "modern" inventions[edit]

In Bacon's work Novum Organum, he cites three world-changing inventions in the West, but does not seem to be aware that they all hail from China.

This sentence, referring to gunpowder, the compass, and printing, should be moderated, since western movable-type printing, as invented by Gutenberg, is unrelated to Chinese printing. Ergo, printing did not "hail" from China but was completely independent. --Vlmastra 00:41, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I've changed the sentence, but now that I look at it, the whole section seems out of place. Yes, it's an interesting quote, but not entirely relevant for a short biography. That's a lot of material for only one small point. In addition, that is a suspiciously large amount of quotation in proportion to the amount of original material. In summary, I find the section to be non-essential. Does anyone agree? --Vlmastra 01:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that the section should stay. However I have renamed it to properly reflect what is actually being quoted. I have added the correct reference for the quote, and removed the second superfluous unsourced paragraph. I can not find any actual Francis Bacon quote that would show that Bacon did not know about what actually origianted in China. Therefore I have removed "in the West, but does not seem to be aware that they all hail from China." Arion 02:42, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Sexuality discussion[edit]

I was surprised to see the "Sexuality" section I had created, so arbitrarily removed. I will not just revert that edit, instead I will bring the text here so that if anyone has substantive disagreements with the material we can work them out before it is re-added to the article. The old version was simply slanted and incorrect to boot, lumping discussions of his sexuality into the posthumous section, despite the fact that allusions and accusations raged well before there was anything posthumous about the man.

Sexuality Bacon is widely acknowledged to have had romantic attachments to other males, and is today considered to have had homosexual tastes. Among the many modern authors acknowledging this aspect of his life are A .L. Rowse, [1] Rictor Norton, [2], Alan Stewart, [3], Louis Crompton, [4] and Joseph Cady.[5] Nieves Mathews is among the few modern writers to take an opposing view,[6] claiming that the sources are not conclusive: (1) a quote from the private diary of Simonds D'Ewes (Bacon's enemy in Parliament, but considered to be a responsible and scrupulous lawyer), (2) a quote from Brief Lives by John Aubrey (written after Bacon's passing): he "was a pederast" and "had ganimeds and favourites", (3) and a note by Ann Bacon in which she expressed disapproval of the friends Francis and Anthony were associating with (since one was a "Papist" and money was owned to her sons: "that bloody Percy [who Bacon kept] as a coach companion and bed companion."). Coaches were one of the few private spaces at the time, thus the term "coach companion" is a clear reference to sexual doings.[7]

Haiduc 03:28, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I have a substantive disagreement with the use of factually incorrect statements such as "allusions and accusations raged well before there was anything posthumous about the man". There was no public controversy about Bacon involving sexuality during his lifetime - and Bacon's government service and public life were not affected by D'Ewes 3 May 1621 private diary entry. In my opinion, there is no justifiable reason for creating an entire new section that over-emphasizes the theory of several authors who are not neutral and who have tried to reinterpret history. Emery 07:52, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry, but you're not wright. To write that there was "no public controversy about Bacon involving sexuality during his lifetime" is wrong. There was no trial, but there was a controversy :

"It was thought by some, that hee should have been tried at the barre of justice for it", wrote d'Ewes.

Don't you think your statements are not correct ? It is, because there was a controversy, that's the good word. D'Ewes wouldn't write if it wasn't so. It was Haiduc's wright to mention it, but he was censured. And really, it is enough with these people who censure historical evidences when they're not comfortable with it. It should be possible to write that all historical evidences and clues are in the way of Bacon's homosexuality, not of Bacon's heterosexuality. But is there a honest man to admit that here ? I don't think so.

Anyway, that would be correct to say that there was a controversy during his lifetime and the section "posthumous reputation" is not correct. And think about that : what Aubrey is not at all posthumous, because he collected informations thank to older people, who were contemporaries of Bacon. With d'Ewes, we have at last two different evidences. And if all the letter of Bacon's mother didn't deal with his sexuality, there is a paragraph about it. It isn't honest to hidd this fact because it was not Ann Bacon's only preoccupation ; it is a part of his preoccupations. She alludes that his son had homosexual infatuations thirty years before d'Ewes and a lot of year before John Aubrey. I don't know how it is possible to say the contrary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 19:14, 16 October 2007 (UTC) Candid 19:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE AND WILL BE DONE. THIS ARTICLE DOESN'T SAY ALL THE TRUTH ABOUT BACON'S HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A CONTROVERSY DURING HIS LIFETIME. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.94.86 (talk) 19:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Naturally I will second that, and bring yet another proof of the controversy which surrounded the man in his lifetime:

"...which caused some bold and forward man to write these verses following in a whole sheete of paper, & to cast it down in some part of Yorkehouse in the strand, wheere Viscount St. Alban yet lay:
Within this sty a *hogg doth ly, That must be hang'd for Sodomy.

(*alluding both to his sirname of Bacon, & to that swinish abominable sinne.)"
Would you, Emery, in light of all the above, like to retract your assertion that there was no controversy during his own life? Haiduc 00:50, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

There was no controversy regarding homosexuality during Bacon's lifetime. As an English scholar, I have seen some reasonably respectable academic research regarding homosexality of historical figures in the history of England, Wales, and Scotland. Alan Bray's book Homosexuality in Renaissance England is one such work. Bray documents substantial evidence regarding the probable bisexuality of King James I and various other historically significant individuals. With that said, Bray does an abysmally wretched job of hypothesizing homosexuality in the life of Francis Bancon. For example, Bray makes the outlandish claim that male servants were male prostitutes, and since Francis Bacon had male servants, he must have been having sexual relations with them! Here is an actual quote from page 54 of Bray's book:

"There is though a further form of homosexual prostitution which it is possible to distinguish, and there are parallels with heterosexual prostitution here also: the young man living in a household, nominally with the status of a servant but haying a relationship with the master of the household with strong overtones of prostitution. This might be a matter of no more than a few days, as in John Marston's description of the sodomite whose personal servant — apparently a page — is really a prostitute who has been 'closely' i.e. secretly hired:
"But ho, what Ganymede is that doth grace
"The gallant's heels, one who for two days' space Is closely hired?
"It might also be a matter lasting weeks, months, or even years. This is presumably part of what Middleton, Brathwaite and Wilmot, quoted earlier in a different context, had in mind; their pages and 'private parasites' seem to have been prostitutes, albeit established in the household, as much as they were servants. It also partly explains the ambivalent position of some of the young men in the households of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Castlehaven: it is not clear whether these young men were servants or a kind of domestic prostitute, and perhaps one would be wrong to try and make a sharp distinction between the two. The relationship between client and prostitute — as indeed between teacher and pupil — had obvious analogies with the basic and influential relationship of master and servant; in the domestic prostitute the two are hardly distinguishable."

This is just one example of the embarrasingly bad level of speculation that has led some to try to add Francis Bacon to the list of those who can legitimately be considered famous and significant homosexual and bisexual men and women in recorded history. Emery 06:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The probleme is that there is no proof of his heterosexuality. Simon d'Ewes, John Aubrey and Bacon's mother knew what they said. The bad faith of these homophobic people is disguting. You can say all that you want, disdain all historical evidences and clues because you don't like what it, make all diversion that you wan't : everythink say to us that Francis Bacon was homosexual and nothing that he was heterosexual. That's easy to say that both Simon d'Ewes and John Aubrey are not valuable sources. They were like ancient historians, you know : their statements is based on other -today destroyed- evidences and testimonies.

And there is a problem with you : there is absolutely, absolutely no proof of his -by you alleged- heterosexuality. If you can proof that he was heterosexual, OK. But I could say to you that your level of speculation that has led you to state that he was heterosexual is 0.

You don't know the notion of the servant loves ? Samuel Pepys knew that with his girls and Francis Bacon too with his lads. But I think I understand your way : in France our penal right is based on the presumption of innocence. Your mind must be based on the presumption of heterosexuality. You don't need proofs of heterosexuality, presumption is enough for you.

So, you think to allow yourself to state that Bacon was heterosexual. You know why we think that he was homosexual. I am curious to know the concret evidences you have to stated that he was heterosexual. Obviously, I wouldn't considere your answer valuable if it is : "There is no proof that he was homosexual." That would be the proof that your claims of Bacon's heterosexuality would be unsubstantiated.

ANYWAY, I THINK THAT EMERY'S CLAIMS ABOUT BACON'S HETEROSEXUALITY ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED AND THAT THE ARTICLE MUST AND WILL BE CHANGED IF HONESTY WILL BE RESPECTED.

It is not enough to claim things about Bacon's heterosexuality, my dear little Emery. You have to proove it. If you can't, other people have the right to write that there is evidences of his homosexuality but not of his heterosexuality. But I trust you : what are the evidences of Bacon's heterosexuality ? Name them. If you can't, the article will be changed.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.198.75.232 (talk) 18:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Emery, I hope you will not mind too much my reverting you. You have had plenty of opportunity to answer the issues raised here, but all we have had from you is silence. Please either address the issues or let the edit stand as it is. Haiduc 13:04, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

It is puzzling that someone would write that "all we have had from you is silence" after I gave a detailed example directly from Bray's book on how baseless the sexuality speculation on Bacon has been - unlike other people in history that Bray did provide satisfactory evidence for. I do not maintain that speculation on Bacon should not be included in this article. My point has been that it should not be over-emphasized by creating a separate section entitled "Sexuality". Emery 14:16, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I have been looking at the references that Haiduc has supplied, and thus far they seem OK. The New York Times gave a very positive review to Hostage To Fortune, calling it "fair" in its treatment of Bacon, and the reviewer writes that Bacon was probably homosexual. The same review calls Nieves Mathews's book, which denies the assertion of homosexuality, "combative. The bottom line is that the material is reliably sourced. I see no reason why this cannot be inserted in the article, particularly as the paragraph in question is neutrally written and makes clear that it is the subject of debate. Jeffpw 15:43, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  2. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  3. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  4. ^ Homosexuality and Civilization; pp388-391
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  7. ^ [2]

This section should reflect a neutral point of view. Stating "Bacon is widely acknowledged to have had romantic attachments to other males, and is today considered to have had homosexual tastes." is simply not true. In my opinion, it needs to be restated in NPOV. Sujata Kapila 19:50, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

We must be reading different sources. Every one I look at supports the homosexuality hypothesis, vs. the heterosexuality hypothesis. And let's be clear about one very important thing: to expect balanced coverage from ANY sources earlier than, say, the nineteen eighties or nineties is like expecting accurate information about the Katyn forest massacre from Soviet-era history school-books. Where does that leave us? Haiduc 00:03, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore: It is well that we are beginning to cover this aspect of his life. However, at this point the Nieves book is given undue prominence, and her arguments, contested by others, are left as if they are the final word. My previous version at least attempted to balance matters. Haiduc 00:52, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Comment. You may want to check out The Francis Bacon Correspondence Project under the direction of Alan Stewart is dedicated to producing a new critical edition of correspondence to and from the philosopher, parliamentarian, scientist, essayist, lawyer and politician Francis Bacon (1561-1626). This will be published as part of the Oxford Francis Bacon, a new edition of Bacon's works and letters under the general editorship of Professors Lisa Jardine and Graham Rees and a recognised British Academy Project. Four volumes of this edition (vols 4 pt 1, 6, 13 and 15) are already available published by Oxford University Press. It is envisaged that the Correspondence will run to 4 volumes (vols 16-19) of the final edition, meeting the high scholarly standards of the volumes published to date. The groundwork for this project was funded by a substantial AHRB Research Grant from 2000-2001, and undertaken by Research Fellows Dr Patricia Brewerton and Dr Andrew Gordon. Benjiboi 00:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I would want to know how Sujata Kapila can state that Bacon hadn't "romantic attachment to other males." That is simply not true. And Tobie Matthews ? Had he romantic attachment to women. No proof. The argumentation of people who say that Bacon was heterosexual is inexistant. All they can do is deny without proofs and without strong argumentation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.198.75.232 (talk) 09:49, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Is this the para we're getting excited about?

Bacon is widely acknowledged to have had romantic attachments to other males, and is today considered to have had homosexual tastes. Among the many modern authors acknowledging this aspect of his life are A .L. Rowse, [1] Rictor Norton, [2], Alan Stewart, [3], Louis Crompton, [4] and Joseph Cady.[5] Nieves Mathews is among the few modern writers to take an opposing view,[6] claiming that the sources are not conclusive: (1) a quote from the private diary of Simonds D'Ewes (Bacon's enemy in Parliament, but considered to be a responsible and scrupulous lawyer), (2) a quote from Brief Lives by John Aubrey (written after Bacon's passing): he "was a pederast" and "had ganimeds and favourites", (3) and a note by Ann Bacon in which she expressed disapproval of the friends Francis and Anthony were associating with (since one was a "Papist" and money was owned to her sons: "that bloody Percy [who Bacon kept] as a coach companion and bed companion."). Coaches were one of the few private spaces at the time, thus the term "coach companion" is a clear reference to sexual doings.[7]

If so, it needs to be re-written. The first sentence has two clauses, and the second simply repeats the first: it should read: "Bacon is widely acknowledged to have had romantic attachments to other males." Given that, the wiki-question arises: widely acknowledged by whom? By the folk in the next sentence, presumably: A .L. Rowse, [1] Rictor Norton, [2], Alan Stewart, [3], Louis Crompton, [4] and Joseph Cady.[5]. So why not put these names into a footnote - not, please, in the text. Then we get to the curious bit: Nievs Matthews claims the sources are not conclusive. What sources is he talking about? Rowse et al? I don't think so; more probably the primary sources, to wit, Simonds D'Ewes, John Aubrey, and Ann Bacon. But what is this information doing way down near the end of the paragraph? This, surely, is what it's all about. So for God's sake put these primary sources up into the first sentence, something along the lines: "Primary sources during or shortly after Bacon's lifetime alleged etc etc". (Begin with the generqal statement, that they alleged he batted for the other team, then go on to say who each one was and what he/she said). Finally, if you want, go into modern appraisals. Cheers. PiCo 10:05, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that if Nieves Matthews must be so quoted, it will be good to write that if she denies Bacon's homosexuality, she can't proove that he was heterosexual. She made a half-job. And so, it is a pure point of view. She can't prove the contrary of what she denies. At the contrary, the point of view of authors who think that he was homosexual is based on perhaps imperfected, but real sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.198.75.232 (talk) 11:41, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Censure is to easy. I'm not prepared to accept that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.198.75.232 (talk) 18:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Early life[edit]

Hey you blokes! Look, in this early section you're saying "His mother, Ann Cooke Bacon, was the second wife of Sir Nicholas. She was a member of the Reformed or Puritan Church, and a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke. Her sister married William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Queen Elizabeth I."

I think that you're losing your grip on the subject here. Second sentence in this example is not related to the subject properly. I wonder if you'd consider saying, "She was a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke and a member of the Reformed Puritan Church." —putting the birth first and the church membership second as in a natural order in this case.

Then why not say that, "His maternal uncle was, by marriage, William Cecil..." or if that is going to look a bit ugly you might try, "His (maternal) aunt married William Cecil..." because we really are only interested in Francis—are we not? You're just gilding the lily, are you not?

Going back to the first sentence—you could go, "His mother, Ann Cook Bacon, was Sir Nicholas's second wife." Then I'm thinking that this is Americanisms creeping in here and she wasn't Ann Cook Bacon before she was married. She was Ann Cook, right? So we now have "His mother, Ann Cook, was Sir Nicholas's second wife." —and everybody is happy—especially Francis Bacon who would have been turning in his grave at the English you are concocting in this article.

If you'll give me those fixes I'll think about going through the whole thing and making any other suggestions—for your consideration. Cheers.

Lin 11:10, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestions for clarity in the article's language. I have made the changes. Emery 06:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Dick, I appreciate your confidence in my suggestions. Lin 07:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Please archive obsolete talk discussion[edit]

I've added an archive link and request that editors familiar with the article please archive any old talk threads that are no longer active or otherwise obsolete. The length of this page is way too long and thus hard for some users to access. Benjiboi 23:02, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Later views on Bacon[edit]

I propose changing the title of the section that was previously awkwardly named "Posthumous reputation", then nebulously named "Others". I propose "Later views on Bacon" Sujata Kapila 21:28, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Seems like an excellent way to add clarity to the article. What do the other editors think? Emery 06:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I merged it, plus another small section, into the Works section, which perhaps could be retitled Works and Influence or somesuch.PiCo 11:21, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Articles exploring the "Sexuality of . . . "[edit]

It appears that an accepted norm in Wikipedia has been to create specialty articles to explore in more depth those areas of interest that are not the main theme of the article. For example: Sexuality of Abraham Lincoln, Sexuality of James Buchanan, etc. Therefore, my friends, I would like to humbly propose - for your consideration - the creation of such a specialty article on the "Sexuality of Francis Bacon", where such matters can be examined in more depth. A link to that article could then be created in the "See also" section. Sujata Kapila 19:41, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good suggestion to me. After all, Francis Bacon's fame is due to his historical impact as a philosopher, Parliamentarian, scientist, essayist, lawyer and politician. Speculation regarding his sexuality is irrelevant to his fame. Emery 06:07, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Sexual orientation is a theme like another. I suggest to you to contribute to develop the other partS of the article, if you are more interested in the scientist, essayist, lawyer and politician than in """speculations."""
Myself, I'm reading the whole work of Francis Bacon and that's indeed very interesting.

You could so reduce the importance of the sexuality part without censure. That would be nice, don't you think ? Candid 10:46, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that the best guideline for us is to look at comprehensive biographies, such as Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon, which include all aspects of the man's life. Especially in an article this short, there is no defensible rationale for breaking out this material. It would make about as much sense as breaking out the material about his early life: after all he is not very famous for that either. And I would like to request you, Emery, to reconsider your repeated use of the term "speculations" in referring to this topic. The coverage of this aspect of his life previous to the corrections of the last few days demonstrably misrepresented the issue (I am sure as a result of an honest oversight). But at this point continued misrepresentation can only be indicative of a personal point of view which is out of place here. Haiduc 11:04, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

To create a section titled "Sexuality" is very odd in a biographical entry about a historical figure who had nothing to do with sexual scandals in his career and nothing to do with being an activist for sexual causes. I have read the primary sources and the handful of authors who essentially copied the out of context quotes and misrepresentations of each previous writer. To dedicate so much space to the speculation of a few authors is out of proportion to the rest of the article. I believe that the suggestion to creats a specialized article, as was done with Abraham Lincoln, would be the most responsible way to proceed. Emery 16:56, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

It is not the reality that Bacon is a historical figure who had nothing to do with sexual scandals. The quote of d'Ewes (1621) and the public sermon (1619) show that and with time, it is probable that other evidences were destroyed. But our evidences are enough. These evidences are not out of context. I don't see how Aubrey is out of context and if the main grief of Ann Bacon is not homosexuality, she wrote about it in a largest context. What is out of context in all these evidences ? I don't see at all. It is only words.
Candid 19:43, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Emery, the bottom line here is that it is not my opinion or yours about what is misrepresentation or not, and what is in context or not, and what is speculation or not, that matters. It so happens that it is blatantly obvious to me that the man liked young men as lovers, and fully acted out his desires as only an aristocrat can. And why do you think someone would write a treatise on beauty and only discuss masculine beauty, if what really turned him on were women and only women?! And where, if our man is to be presented as another Casanova, oh where are all the rumpled skirts and broken hearts he left behind?! All we hear about are boys and men, boys and men.
But as I said before, none of that matters. That is pure speculation, on my part as well as yours. What is not speculation is what these perfectly reputable sources, contemporary as well as modern, had to say about him. And present-day scholars declare him to be among the ranks of homosexuals, as do quite a number of those who lived in or close to his time. That is what matters, and not our speculation. The only modern with a contrary view you have been able to adduce is that Nieves woman, who, if I may point out, wrote a tract defending FB, and to whose work far too much space is devoted. Well, we have a name for people who "defend" others against "accusations" of homosexuality. I am sure you know what that is.
Emery, since the advent of queer studies it has become legitimate to examine and document the same-sex affairs of historical personages. Coming, as it does, on the heels of a very long period - not a period but an epoch - of dissimulation, deception and subterfuge, it may be that more is said about these things than absolutely necessary, and it may be that they are more disturbing than they otherwise may be. But this is where we are, and we have an obligation to be thorough and accurate. As another said above, it the sexuality aspect of his life is overly well documented, the best solution is to fill out those other parts of the article which are lacking. For a historical figure of the dimensions of Bacon, it is surprising to see such a short article. Haiduc 23:02, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I must have not made clear what my objection is to creating a section entitled "Sexuality" is in this Francis Bacon article.

(1) The sexual speculation issue is dealt with disproportionately. That makes this article look amateurish and that there is an agenda. Primary sources are misrepresented - instead of simply stating what the secondary sources (the authors) maintained in their writings. I agree that our personal opinions are not relevant in an encyclopedia article such as this is intended to be.

(2) Creating a section entitled "Sexuality" is in this Francis Bacon article is as ridiculous as creating a "Sexuality" section about Walt Disney or Albert Einstein. Sexual issues - whether homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual - are not what these historical figures are known for, or what their accomplishments were. Emery 01:31, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Please say why you feel that primary sources have been "misrepresented," why they should at all be excluded from the article, why the article should be based exclusively upon secondary sources, why we should restrict our discussion of Bacon to topics which are already well known about him, and why we should remove all discussion of private life from articles on historical personages?
I agree with you that creating a section titled sexuality is a bit over the top, but so is your insistence that the whole thing is some modern hallucination. How would you feel about a section titled "Private life"? Haiduc 01:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I have never been, nor will ever be, for covering up relevant information. It is relevant that a handful of authors in recent years have repeated the misrepresentations and out-of-context quotes of each previous author. Whether someone believes that the claims of particular authors are ridiculous, outrageous, or stupid is not relevant to an encyclopedic biographical article. But that does not mean you create an entire section for those claims.

However, if books have been written about the subject of the article, then those secondary sources should be included in a neutral way. There should be no statements that something is definitely true if there are strong contrary viewpoints. Simply state what the claims are, let those who want to delve into the subject more in depth read those books. There they can read what those authors have to say about the primary sources. It is the role of scholars and authors of books to analyze primary sources and interpret their meaning. That is not the role of an encyclopea! Let the reader make his own judgments and form his own opinions. An enclopedia is intended to be a neutral source of basic information, not a personal opinion article.

There have been many unwarranted acts of censorship since 14 October 2007. Parts of the Francis Bacon article began to be removed, with comments made that these were removed because they were "pure dog-poo", "wisdom-of-the-ancients baloney", "Claims by grungy little men who live in basements and drool a bit don't belong in encyclopedias". Such comments don't belong in encyclopedias.

Incidently, Wisdom of the Ancients was a book written by Francis Bacon. Why someone would want to censor and remove that fact is baffling! Emery 06:01, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

As my name has (almost) been mentioned I'll chime in at this point. "Pure dog-poo" indeed does not belong in an encyclopedia; nor, however, do claims that FB, like the Phantom, never died. If you know of a kinder way of experssing this than "puer dog-poo" please let me know. PiCo 07:36, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why people think that Bacon's homosexuality is """""out of context""""" or misrepresentations. Nieves Mathews, for example : she wrote that in the context of sixteenth century, "bed companion" means nothing in a sexual way. That's perhaps true, but she avoids to say that "coach companion" means something. I think that she stated before to write his biography that Francis Bacon was heterosexual and that's all. I humbly think that write "it is a misrepresentation", and that Ann Bacon didn't want to write what she wrote is ridiculous. To talk about Francis Bacon's homosexuality is completely relevant ; nobody can say the contrary. And what d'Ewes wroted in his diary thirty years later is really circonstancied : he didn't write "Bacon was a sodomite, that's all", he did explain that he had a young servant lover. And the sermon of 1619 and the biography of Aubrey complete that. And there are clues of Bacon's sexual tastes in his own work. Well, I have seen that N.M. wrote that he made a strong condemnation of homosexuality in New Atlantis, but the only think he does is to say that "male love had no touch" with an utopic world. It doesn't mean that he wasn't homosexual and that's not a strong condemnation : he didn't write : the horrible vice of sodomy, but male love. And I'm sorry, in his utopy, he said perhaps that familly is a very good think, like it was a common belief in those days -the belief of Simon d'Ewes, for example-, but in his life, familly was absolutely not a real value. He married in very old age and not because he was in love. No children, and we can't say that it was a very happy marriage. His wife was unable to support his behaviour toward her. After that, it is quite possible to think that Bacon's homosexuality is ridiculous, outrageous and stupid. It simply shows that people who think it is, are like people who thought in Bacon's days, that homosexuality is horrible, AND ridiculous, outrageous and stupid. I saw that Mathews wrote that today, homosexuality is no more considered as infamous. Well, that's really good. But it comes not to her mind that it is because Bacon was homosexual that d'Ewes didn't like Bacon, not because he didn't like him that he invented his homosexuality, like his private diary shows. He didn't write : I'm very happy, my gossips work really good. He could write that, because it was in his PRIVATE diary. But no, he was sincere. It is because NM did think that homosexuality is infamous that she claimed without proof that Bacon was heterosexual. But, obsviously, the theory of Bacon's homosexuality is ridiculous, outrageous and stupid and first of all, baseless, because historians who want to "rehabilitate" a genious like Francis Bacon are forced to say that he was not homosexual : if he was he couldn't be a great man and, as he was a great man, he can't be homosexual, so, all the evidences are out of context, irrelevant, stupid, outrageous and tutti quanti. And if you ask these people if they have evidences to say that he was heterosexual, they answer : "There's no proof that he was homosexual." It is very easy to proof heterosexuality so. I had that, for Nieves Mathews, stating that Bacon is homosexual is -I quote- a "defamation." But yeeeees, she iiiiis neutral ! I don't congratulate people who are in that way. What is irrelevant is your argumentation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 12:17, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I have an idea : it will be quite relevant to write that in Bacon's work, On Beauty, he is only interested in male beauty. That's not a formal proof of homosexuality, but really sure it is not a proof of heterosexuality. And there are a lot of beautiful women in history and greek mythology : why not. We could said that it is at last homoerotism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 12:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't remember : is Ludovico Ariosto who said that all humanists were homosexual ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 12:42, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

What it is sure is that there is evidences that he was homosexual, there is no evidence that he was heterosexual. Point. People who claims that he was heterosexual make baseless speculation, but it is said in the article that they make these speculations and that there is for them no other possibility. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 12:48, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why it would be necessary to change anything in the article. It would be necessary if someone could quote a scholar who have a real convincing proof that Bacon was in love with a woman, wrote her love poems or something like that. If nobody can do that, so it is absolutely not false that NM had absolutely no evidence to proove her theory and not false at all that her theory is based on ground that d'Ewes and Aubrey were liers, that Ann Bacon didn't know what she wrote, perhaps that Bacon was in a passionated love with his woman and I don't know what else that is very serious and not irrelevant, stupid, outrageous, baseless, horrible, chocking, obviously false, scurrilous speculations, vicious allegations, nonsense and, in a word connected with unspeakable, unnatural homosexual love or vice -you can choose. Is there in his circle really not even a woman who could play the role of the secret muse and secret love during all the life of Francis Bacon, like Vittoria Colonna was with the strongly heterosexual Michelangelo, who was of course another Casanova, like Francis Bacon ? It is curious that biographers like NM have still not find such a woman. That would be a good beginning for speculations about the theory of heterosexuality. Good luck. Candid 20:13, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I had that Nieves Mathews, in her reaction to the book of Jardine and Stewart, June 26 1998, is quite able to stated that some people are heterosexual : she writes that Thomas Hobbes was a "lover of women." Thomas Hobbes was heterosexual, that's a reality, but in the case of Francis Bacon, I don't think that she wrote that he was a "lover of women." Inconsciously, NM must know herself that she has no evidences to state that Bacon was heterosexual, so she did infer that, claming that there "is no proof that he was homosexual... and tutti quanti..." So, even NM didn't say frankly that Bacon was heterosexual, she infers that saying that the proofs ae "inconclusive", so that he was not homosexual, so that he was heterosexual. But when it's time to proove positively that he was, she is strangely silent.

Nieves Mathews seems to say that Hobbes was close to Bacon. I thought that Hobbes didn't really like Bacon. Does anybody know something about that ? 90.3.113.171 21:20, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Homosexuality[edit]

I would like to request that everyone take a look at the banner at the top of this page for guidelines on what is to be discussed on this page. "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Francis Bacon article. This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject." As responsible Wikipedia editors, we should keep this in mind.

It does not make any difference whether any of us believe an entry - with references as to the sources - is ridiculous or unimportant. As long as scholars, academic researchers, or authors have written about the subject of the article, then their theories are validly referenceable on Wikipedia.

  • There are scores and scores of books written about Francis Bacon, that the general public is not familiar with.
    • Scholars, academic researchers, and various authors have documented the role of Bacon in the founding of Jamestown in the Virginia Colony in 1607. Various works claim that he visited Jamestown after he departed from public life in England on 9 April 1626, "Resurrection Sunday" (the name for Easter Sunday in those days) engaging in a "philosophic death" to retire from the public view (and using his well-known sense of humor to cook up the funny manner of "death" - dying as a result of trying to stuff chickens with snow to discover a new way of preserving them!)
    • Various works claim that Francis Bacon secretly traveled in disguise after 1626 through France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and other areas utilizing the secret network of Freemasons and Rosicrucians he had been associated with.
    • Various works claim that Francis Bacon continued writing after 1626 using pseudonyms - as he had done before 1626 - continuing to write as late as 1670.

It does not matter if any of us think the viewpoint of these scholars or authors is wrong or ridiculous, it should be included.

  • Regarding sexual orientation speculation on any person with an article in Wikipedia, if there are researchers or authors or any forms of media that have presented information about that subject, then it should be included. The problem arises when blatantly biased phrasing or an entire separately titled subheading section is suddenly created - out of proportion to its significance in the fame or career of the person thst the article is about.

Again, it does not matter if any of us think the viewpoint of the scholars or authors is wrong or without merit, it should be included. However, it should be presented in a neutral way without blatantly biased phrasing, and without creating an entire separately titled section for those claims. Emery 22:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Emery, I think that it is standard practice in conflict resolution to start not by trying to resolve the principal conflict but by identifying and building on what common ground there is. As far as I am concerned, the common ground here is that we both agree that we need not have a section devoted solely to his sexuality. I propose a section titled "Personal relationships" within which we could include his relationship with his wife, brother, mother, etc. What do you think of that? Haiduc 00:35, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
This definitely sounds like a constructive idea. As responsible Wikipedia editors we will always need to keep in mind that the amount of space devoted to the material being edited needs to be proportional to its significance to the totality of the subject matter of the article, whether it is a biography, the arts, sciences, etc. Emery 04:23, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


Consider what you've written here: on one hand you argue that the "Francis-Bacon-Never-Died" malarky should be included, no matter how ridiculous (he was active in 1670! C****t!), just because "various works" say so; on the other you argue that material on his sexuality should not be included, no matter how many "various works" are cited to that effect. You can't have it both ways. PiCo 00:12, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

How can a dialogue ever occur when (1) our friend from France keeps dumping onto this discussion page the same repetitive minutia that is irrelevant to the improvement of the article, and (2) PiCo engages in more vulgarities (C****t!) and totally writes an un-truth about my position on editing Wikipedia articles according to academic standards. I stated VERY CLEARLY:


    • It does not make any difference whether any of us believe an addition to the Wikipedia article is ridiculous or unimportant - as long as there are references as to the sources. As long as scholars, academic researchers, or authors have written about that subject, if it is related to the subject of the article, then their theories are validly referenceable on Wikipedia.
    • Regarding sexual orientation speculation on any person with an article in Wikipedia, if there are researchers or authors or any forms of media that have presented information about that subject, then it should be included. The problem arises when blatantly biased phrasing or an entire separately titled subheading section is created - out of proportion to its significance in the fame or career of the person that the article is about. Again, it does not matter if any of us think the viewpoint of the scholars or authors is wrong or without merit, it should be included.


HOW MUCH MORE CLEARLY CAN I STATE THIS???????????


It appears that only Haiduc is participating in a constructive and responsible dialogue. Emery 04:12, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok I'll drop the strong language. Here's what I deleted from a previous version of the article: A paragraph in the section headed "Death" which said that "various authors, such as Parker Woodward and Mike Thomas argue that Bacon's death was falsified, and that there is evidence of this hidden in an emblem on the front page of Bacon's last work, New Atlantis. They further argue that the whole of Aubrey's 'account' was erroneous. Moreover, they claim that Bacon's New Atlantis is part of an intricate complex system of ciphers, and was meant to be read in conjunction with other works, Shakespeare's Sonnets being one such work." How reliable are these sources? Not reliable at all: Parker Woodward was a Nottingham solicitor from the turn of the last century who took up Bacon-was-Shakespeare as a hobby; he was not a Shakespeare scholar, not a scholar of the Elizabethan age, not any kind of scholar at all. (definition of scholar: one who holds a professional position within his discipline, and/or is published in the peer-reviewed literature of that profession. Autodidacts are not scholars unless they are recognised by their profession.) Mike Thomas is something similar, except that unlike Woodward he's alive today and so has access to a website of his very own. Sourecs must be notable, and these two aren't.
I also deleted a whole section, "Bacon in popular culture", which was all about a religion (there's no other word for it, except perhaps 'cult') in which Bacon figures. The religion is called Ascended Master Teachings, and seems to be an offspring of Theosophy - it certainly shares a lot of beliefs. Unlike Theosophy, it's not at all well-known. So we apply the notability test again - is this group notable? I'd say not - certainly not well enough to merit a mention in the Francis bacon article, no matter how important FB is to them. PiCo 05:53, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
If a historical figure such as Francis Bacon figures prominently in religious, metaphysical or philosophical systems in modern culture, then it is significant and should be included. If hypothetically there was an animated movie about Francis Bacon, then even that would be significant enough include in this Wikipedia article under "Bacon in popular culture". Just take a look at the Thor and Hercules articles for examples of this.
"Notable" is a subjective judgment that should play no part in the editing that we have the privilege to participate in together - assuming good faith and with respect for each other. It does not make any difference whether any of us believe an entry - with references as to the sources - is ridiculous or unimportant. As long as scholars, academic researchers, or authors (who may or may not be "scholars" according to someone's definition) have written about the subject of the article, then their theories and works (and even religious / philosophical beliefs) are validly referenceable on Wikipedia. Emery 07:10, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, notability is not a subjective matter: see Wikipedia:Notability/Historical/Arguments,"A topic has notability if it is known outside a narrow interest group or constituency", the topic in this case being the Ascended Master Teachings. See also Wikipedia:Fringe theories: "An appearance on Wikipedia should not make something more notable than it actually is." PiCo 07:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, you quoted a Wikipedia article that states: "This is an essay. It does not define a policy or guideline;" Much of the debate about notability comes from varying definitions of what notability is. There are no objective criteria for notability! Emery 08:14, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

So you're prepared to let the section on FB's homosexuality remain? PiCo 08:37, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
As I indicated above, I tend to think the suggestion by Haiduc is reasonalble and fair, as long as it is presented NPOV and proportional to the rest of the article on Francis Bacon. Emery 08:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Just to make sure I was not misunderstood: I did not offer to reduce or modify the material on his same-sex affairs, only to combine it with that about other relationships. Haiduc 11:23, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

As currently written, Wikipedia standards of proportionality and NPOV are lacking. Therefore, the current version is

  • not written in a neutral way without blatantly biased phrasing,
  • has an amount of space devoted to the sexual speculation that is not proportional to the rest of the article

I hope this clarifies my position. Emery 19:19, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

As I mentioned before, this is a very cursory article about a very important person. If the section on his relationships has gotten ahead of the rest of the article, then the solution is NOT to abbreviate the more fully developed discussion, but to expand the sections which are insufficiently elaborated.
As for neutrality, I am not sure about the rest of the article, since I am not a Baconian, but the section about his personal life and his male affairs is finally covered in depth, and no longer misrepresented as "posthumous speculations". Haiduc 23:02, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the new version is quite acceptable. If anyone is changing it, I'm prepared to stop to have a look on it and do something else. It is normal to present the theories of NM because it's published. Anymay, people know that she has no proof of what she says about Bacon's homosexuality and even if her claims about d'Ewes, Aubrey and others were true -and even for that she has no proof that it's false-, so we should conclude that there is absolutely no available evidences about FB sentimental life and that it's not possible know if he was homosexual or heterosexual. So, anyway, NM had absolutely no prooved that he was heterosexual. If her claims are true -and she is very partial and systematical, in mind of hagiography rather than history-, so the only thing it prooves is that there no evidences of Bacon's sexual orientation, so of his heterosexuality, alleged by NM. But of course, there's too many evidences of Bacon's homosexuality to conclude that there is no evidence of his sexual orientation, of his homosexual orientation. It's something that nobody can seriously contest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Candid (talk) 09:49, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Anyway, the theories of Nieves are only base on alleged fragilities of the evidences. She doesn't provide something new. To know the exact meaning of "coach companion" at the time of Bacon's life, it will be necessary to see how the word "coach" is used in the other texts of this time. And if it is conclusive that the meaning is sexual -and I write if, because I didn't make that work-, so it will be conclusive that NM point of view is not correct on that point. That's not difficult. And to know if the fact that he remains bachelor until 1605 and that he did a marriage of agreement is not a clue of rejection of marriage, that could be explained by his homosexuality, it could be interested to know if a so late marriage was a common thing in his social class. If it isn't -and I don't know-, that would be informative. It is very informative too, that he remains childless and that his woman was forced to find another man. Actually, the argumentation of NM is all but conclusive and that's really not necessary to believe what she wrote on Bacon's more than alleged heterosexuality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 10:56, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

And to people who think that the part according to Bacon's homosexuality is too long, I would want to say that : if there was "non conclusive" but strong evidences of the heterosexuality of another personality and if scholars choose to state that he was homosexual even without the beginning of a formal proof -and I'm sorry, but where are the real proofs of Bacon's heterosexuality that NM could produce ?-, the larger part of the article would discussed heterosexuality, even if it isn't completely prooved and a tiny part, or nothing of the allegations of homosexuality.

It is the same in the case of Francis Bacon, but heterosexuality must be changed for homosexuality. Thereafter, I think that neutrality is completely respected. If you don't think so, then make a list of all the personnalities who were falsely """"accused"""" of homosexuality -to use NM's vocabulary- and make a long paragraph about these allegations. I think my argumentation is not ridiculous, stupid, or all the nice words you could find. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 11:13, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


Nothing written in the article about Francis Bacon's sexuality is false. I see with consternation that the topic of Bacon's homosexuality is again asimilated with preposterous theories. Bacon's homosexuality is a very serious topic, well documented but you persist to claim that it is ridiculous and unimportant. I have a suggestion : if Aubrey, for example, can't be quoted because he claims that Bacon was homosexual, why not suppress any reference to Aubrey in the article ? Anyway, something is sure : if Nieves Mathews must be quoted, is must be said that she has no evidences to claim that Bacon was heterosexual, because it's true she hasn't and I don't believe she pretented have. In precedent versions, where homosexuality was discussed in "Posthumous reputation" - a real joke : our evidences are contemporary-, all the paragraph about homosexuality dealt with the theory of heterosexuality ; there was no explanation of why it was thought that Bacon was homosexual. And it must be said that Nieves Matthews prooved nothing else that Bacon didn't admit himself that he was homosexual, because it was too dangerous.
Anyway, the article is quite good like it is, informative and there's no need to touch the sexuality version. It's time to have a look to other sections and to create new sections without suppressing the available work done.

90.3.113.171 22:48, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I would want to make a precision : Nieves Mathews is not wrong when she made critics about the sources. But there's no perfect sources and in the case of Bacon we are very lucky to have so many and various evidences. There's no reason to dismiss them systematicaly. At last, d'Ewes, even without mention Aubtrey and all the other clues and evidences- is perhaps hostile, but he wasn't blind. So, if you want to be neutral, you have to mention that Nieves Mathews criticized the sources, but, at last, that there is no way to proove that all these various sources are completely false. I suppose that your neutral article would say : some people claims that Bacon was homosexual, but Nieves Mathews dismissed that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.113.171 (talk) 23:08, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

LISTEN, EVERYBODY, I didn't realize, but there's even no need to wonder if "coach companion" had a sexual meaning : the meaning of "bed companion" is sexual too : Bacon's mother is not alone to use these words : D'Ewes wrote : "yet would he not relinquish the practice of his most horrible and secret sinne of sodomie, keeping still one Godrick, a verie effeminate faced youth, to bee his catamite and BEDFELLOW." So Nieves Mathews looks clever claiming that it is a "misrepresentation" to state that words such as "bed companion and coach companion" are not evidences of Bacon's homosexuality, because that's not sexual. Now, it is very clear to me that all her argumentation is false : she is just one of these biographers of homosexual personnalities who tries desperately to link them to heterosexuality, because homosexuality is a very bad thing. So it is very not disturbing to quote Mathews in the article : everybody can see that "coach companion" as well as "bed companion" are evidences of sexual activities and deny that, like NM is a perfect example of bad faith. The only thing to do is to read the texts to see that NM is not only weak -no formal proof of Bacon's heterosexuality- but false. The only thing she is able to provide to proove Bacon's heterosexuality is her intimate conviction. I am definitely convinced that all the primary sources in question deal indeed with homosexuality. I am very happy : I now know without possible doubt that NM argumentation is insubstantiated. Is anybody still able to pretend that "bedfellow" had no sexual meaning in mind of Bacon's contemporary ? I guess not. That should be mentioned in the article, that NM is wrong. 90.3.151.138 17:35, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

What a travesty![edit]

I asked for comments about this article from a Baconian scholar. Here's what he wrote: "What a travesty to devote so much space to spurious gossip that is irrelevant to Bacon's historical significance!"

Hey people, doesn't the "Personal relationships" part of this article look like a playground for POVs and special interests? Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving homosexuality. So why insert so much text regarding speculation on his sexual orientation or activity???????

To paraphrase Hamlet: "Something is rotten in the state of Wikipedia!" Artemis 05:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Hey people, if people like Artemis want to travesty the reality, there's no reason to follow them. Their argumentation about the non-sexual meaning of synonyms such as "bed companion", "coach companion" and "bedfellow", is false. Their argumentation about the allegations that evidences about Francis Bacon's homosexuality are not contemporary is false :

The first known instance of public reaction to his behavior was in 1619, when the ire of the church itself was aroused by Bacon's doings: a minister of the time preached a public sermon in which he inveighed against the scandal caused by Bacon's "catamites," as recorded in a published transcript.

Simonds d'Ewes discusses Bacon's habits in his Autobiography. In the entry for May 3rd, 1621 he writes: His most abominable and darling sinne I should rather burie in silence, than mencion it, and then proceeds to mention it: yet would he not relinquish the practice of his most horrible & secret sinne of sodomie, keeping still one Godrick, a verie effeminate faced youth, to bee his catamite and bedfellow. This practice he deems not a rare indulgence: his unnaturall crime, which hee had practiced manie yeares, deserting the bedd of his Ladie, which hee accounted, as the Italians and the Turkes doe, a poore & meane pleasure in respect of the other.

According to d'Ewes, this behavior was known to a number of other contemporaries, leading to calls for his being brought to trial: & it was thought by some, that hee should have been tried at the barre of justice for it, & have satisfied the law most severe against that horrible villanie with the price of his bloud; which caused some bold and forward man to write these verses following in a whole sheete of paper, & to cast it down in some part of Yorkehouse in the strand, wheere Viscount St. Alban yet lay:

Within this sty a *hogg doth ly, That must be hang'd for Sodomy.

(*alluding both to his sirname of Bacon, & to that swinish abominable sinne.)

There's nothing false in the article about homosexuality. And first of all, there's absolutely no evidence about a more than alleged heterosexuality who could """dismiss""" what we know about Bacon's homosexuality, which is very detailed. That's all. But I trust people like you : you will find another brilliant argumentation to say that he is not homosexual. That will be difficult. "Bedfellow" and "bed companion" have not sexual meaning ? There is people who are really exposed to nonsense to proove their unsubstantiated theories, like Bacon heterosexuality. It's a fact that we have a whole documentation about Francis Bacon's homosexuality and nothing about a more than alleged heterosexuality, that's all. And censure is the last way for people who know that heteroseuxality claims are unsubstantiated, to travesty and deny reality. However, I realize that nobody contest that NM's theory about the non-sexual meaning of "bed companion" and "bedfellow" is defintily false -it's simply common sense. Thereafter, it isn't difficult to suspect that NM purpose is actually no more than a systematical attempt to deny with no more than her intimate conviction that Bacon was an angel- all what damage the picture she conceived of him.

And if you think that homosexuality is spurious, say that frankly. I think it is a encyclopedic topic like another and nobody assuming good faith can seriously claim that Francis Bacon had nothing to do with homosexuality. People who say falsely that "there is no proof that he was homosexual" without being able to say frankly the contrary -NM, for example, says that Thomas Hobbes was "a lover of woman" and she didn't dare to say the same about Bacon- make me think to the play of Moliere, "Tartuffe ou l'imposteur" : "Cachez ce sein que je ne saurai voir." 90.3.151.138 12:00, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

What I read in the comments by Artemis, was the same point that Steranko, Sujata, Emery, and Qp10qp have been making on this page.
  • Yes mention that some authors have written that they believe there were homosexual elements in Francis Bacon's life
  • Do not create an imbalanced article by including non-neutral language and a lot of text, thus giving undue weight to this disproportionally.
This page is not intended as place for unloading large amounts of quotes or pushing a particular point of view. At the top of this page, there are clear guidelines for this discussion page. Arion 18:46, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

This is a very cursory article about a very important person. If the section on his relationships has gotten ahead of the rest of the article, then the solution is NOT to abbreviate the more fully developed discussion, but to expand the sections which are insufficiently elaborated. The part about personal relationships is not unbalanced, it's simply well documented. The other sections are not as documented as they should be : that create a fealing of unbalancement. An encyclopedy must be as complete as possible and relations between Bacon and men are not the less important part of his personal life, as the sources show. The article presents the only documents we have about his personal life, Rowse, Norton and Mathews are mentioned, saying that the documentation is conclusive or destroying in a systematical way all the evidences. The article is neutral : it deals with """alleged""" -what a darling word- between Bacon and other men, quote the sources and conclude mentioning different historians and the part of Matthews is more important in this conclusion than the others : it is perfectly said that she didn't believe d'Ewes, Aubrey, the sermon of 1619, and that "bed companion" means nothing. It is not said it is false -however nobody can seriously contest it is. NM is quoted and this is not my guilt if there is no document dealing with Bacon more than alleged heterosexuality to "balance" the part dealing with his homosexuality, which is simply fully informative. The whole article must symply be more informative. 83.200.58.60 20:09, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Do I have to crack open my French language textbook to make myself understood?
* This article has too much space devoted to a particular point of view about sexuality.
* Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving homosexuality. Therefore, making mention of the speculation by some authors is sufficient, and if anyone desires to learn more about this, they now have the reference sources and links to follow up.
As an aside, since you keep bringing this up, "a coach companion and a bed companion" do not refer to anything of a sexual nature when in the context of 17th century England. Heavens, sharing one's bedroom does not even mean anything sexual in 21st century Tokyo and Hong Kong. When I was in both cities in September, I learned that, due to crowded living conditions, it is not sexual or uncommon for unrelated families to share the same bedroom (or even bed). Sorry to disappoint you guys. Artemis 20:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Well done, but it is bad faith and I am in no way disappointed but it's kind to be careful. I'm not stupid and I know that XVIIth century habits are not our habits, but it isn't a reason to be systematical. First, it is not "bedroom companion" but "bed companion." The quote of d'Ewes clearly shows that "bed companion", even in the context of 17th century England can very well be sexual. Bacon was not a poor guy and it was well possible to him to sleep alone and buy other beds for their friends. It's only common sense, unless you claims that "bed companion" and "bedfellow" are not synonyms ; instead of saying generalities about the mind of the century, examine closely the texts and you will see that in that case, it is sexual. Anyway, even if it was common to share beds at the time of Bacon, that's perhaps more a proof that sexual activity between men were easier in that context, than the contrary. It is completely false too that his life was "never affected by any rumors or accusations involving homosexuality" because, you know, the simple existence of the sermon of 1619 and of the autobiography of d'Ewes is a proof of the contrary. That's common sense too and the simple fact of saying the contrary is bad faith. All the argumentation of people who say that Bacon was not homosexual is like that : they are blind because it is better for their unsubstantiated theories.

Compare the texts :

D'Ewes : he not relinquish the practice of his most horrible & secret sinne of sodomie, keeping still one Godrick, a verie effeminate faced youth, to bee his catamite and bedfellow.

And Ann Bacon, that mention Percy, the boy sharing the bed of her son, twenty-five years before Godrick : "that bloody Percy" whom Francis kept "yea as a coach companion and a bed companion."

It is the same words, synonyms and it is in a sexual context, I'm sorry, but the simple fact to see the texts is enough to conclude that your argumentation is wrong. I wonder if Simon d'Ewes slept with boys every night, if it was so anodyne. 83.200.58.60 20:50, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Even Rictor Norton, whose writings have been used in pushing the Bacon homosexual theory, stated that the context of Ann Bacon's quote was due to her being upset that "it violated decorum for a nobleman to allow a servant to sleep in the master bedroom; she felt that a lower-ranking bedroom would have been more appropriate."
Heavens, after my books become best sellers and someone writes an article about me in Wikipedia, I can just see the many paragraphs of specualtion about my sexuality. After all, to save money I slept in the same bedrooms and (gasp!) even in the same beds with other women during my recent trip to Tokyo and Hong Kong. That PROVES that Artemis must be a lesbian, doesn't it guys? Artemis 22:07, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
We are not operating here in a vacuum. The history of this article is one of misrepresentation (intentional or not) of Bacon's sexuality, an aspect of his life important to modern readers, as well as to the people of his time - it was matter of life and death, was it not?
Furthermore, Artemis (or should I call you Hera instead, for all your objections to male love) you have tipped your hand by the terminology you have employed, branding Norton as "pushing" a "theory," and repeatedly using the term "speculation" for something that is as plain as day. I do not think that you are in any position to accuse others of being "POV" or "special interests". You have disqualified yourself from that discussion, which is just as well since what we should be concentrating on is the article at hand, not pot-and-kettle accusations directed at other editors.
In conclusion, I have to say that I find it absolutely bizarre that there should be such opposition directed at documenting the private life of Bacon. While his activities were certainly criminal - and a capital offense too - in his time, today they are not even a peccadillo, simply an appetite. Why all this pother about curtailing the discussion, or phrasing it in needlessly wishy-washy terms?! As I have said before, flesh out the rest of the article, it is a mere skeleton at the present time. Haiduc 00:29, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Guys, I have just been ACCUSED of being the part of the "opposition directed at documenting the private life of Bacon". For your information, I have NOT said not to mention that that some authors have written about this "private life" speculation. What I did say was:

* This article has too much space devoted to a particular point of view about sexuality.
* Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving homosexuality. Therefore, making mention of the speculation by some authors is sufficient, and if anyone desires to learn more about this, they now have the reference sources and links to follow up.

Haiduc has called the previously somewhat neutral phrasing on sexuality specualtion abouit Franci Bacon, that was in this article since July and which was close to the Wikipedia standards for a neutral point of view (NPOV) "needlessly wishy-washy terms".

It's an interesting thing to observe how I have been ACCUSED of "accusations directed at other editors" when such is NOT the case! Haiduc has also just "disqualified" me from the discussion page for my discussing the need for neutrality and balance in the Francis Bacon article!!

I have just been ACCUSED of accusing "others of being "POV" or "special interests" by the very person who has made the following accusation about other Wikipedia editors who have edited this article: "The editors "owning" the page revert attempts to correct matters and refuse to discuss." This despite the MASSIVE amount of discussion about the sexuality SPECULATION (not "plain as day") on this very page!

Where did he make these accusations against all of us? Why on the page that of course does not have a "POV" or "special interests": WikiProject LGBT studies (don't take my word for it read it yourselves)

So much for Haiduc's claiming that it's others who are making "pot-and-kettle accusations directed at other editors"!

Now people, let's get on with editing an article that will be so high in standards of excellence that it can become a Wikipedia featured article. Artemis 03:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I know that we are in democracy and that is the right of Artemis to be wrong, but I must say one more time that her argumentation is wrong about the fact that Bacon was not accused of homosexuality during his lifetime. Thereafter, it is another question to say if it true or not. The simple existence of the sermon of 1619 and of the autobiography of d'Ewes is a proof of these accusations. That's common sense and the simple fact of saying the contrary is bad faith. And an important part of the argumentation of people who say that Bacon was not homosexual is based on allegation that terms such as coach companion, bed companion, bedfellow and catamite have no sexual meaning, because of the context of the XVIIth century. I'm sorry, but the evidences says the contrary :

Compare the texts :

D'Ewes : he not relinquish the practice of his most horrible & secret sinne of sodomie, keeping still one Godrick, a verie effeminate faced youth, to bee his catamite and bedfellow.

And Ann Bacon, that mention the same sharing the bed of her son, twenty-five years before Godrick : "that bloody Percy" whom Francis kept "yea as a coach companion and a bed companion."

It is the same words, synonyms and it is in a sexual context. I don't care that Artemis, the chaste goddess splept with women without sexual activity and is not a lesbian. That's not one of your habits, but that was a necessity, wasn't it ? For Bacon, it wasn't a necessity, but a taste and a habit. The reaction of Ann Bacon shows it was not common to share his bed -not his bedroom, I'm sorry- with a servant. In 1621, it is always an habit of Francis Bacon to share his bed with a servant and not with his wife. So, the evidences show that it was no so common and anodyne to share his bed with a servant without a real necessity. Do you think Bacon shared his bed with Percy and Godrick because he was delighted by their mind and that he kept them in his bed to discusse philosophical knowledge ? I am not convinced. So :

1. It is not a good idea to claim that Bacon's life was "never affected by accusations involving homosexuality", because we have two evidences that say the contrary, in 1619 and in 1621. It is not ponctual. You can say that it is baseless accusation, even if the testimony of d'Ewes is really precised and detailed, but it is false to say that there was no accusations.

2. If the fact that Bacon shared his bed with servants is mentioned, it is because it caused problems. It seems that Bacon had the habit during his whole life to share his bed with servants rather than with his wife. It wasn't common to sleep with servants and the meaning of the words used in the evidences is clearly sexual in that case. It is probable that other men slept together by necessity in the lower class or ponctually without sexual contacts, but it is clearly not by necessity that Bacon shared his bed with Percy and Godrick.

3. People like Nieves Mathews only prooved that D'Ewes was not the friend of Bacon and that Aubrey was not his exact contemporary. But, first, they didn't proove that what they wrote if false and second, they didn't provide any positive evidence that Bacon was heterosexual, because saying that he was not homosexual, it implies that he couldn't be nothing but heterosexual. That is a pure point of view. It is not a point of view to say that he was homosexual, because it is based on real evidences, not speculations.

4. Thereafter, there's no reason to change this informative article. The evidences are prensented, Nieves Mathews is neutraly quoted, but it is not possible to quote the evidences on which she based her argumentation about Bacon's heterosexuality, because they don't exist. The only thing to do is to mention that she doesn't believe the only existing evidences and it is done.

5. If some people want to balance the article, the only way is to add new parts and new facts in the existing parts. 83.200.58.60 11:33, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

And i wouldn't be interested in Bacon's homosexuality if it wasn't prooved. I am really not interested in saying that everybody is gay without being able to proove that. If someone had a real proof that Bacon was not homosexual, it would be very well. But it is really not the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.200.58.60 (talk) 11:42, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

It's very interesting how Haiduc did not respond to my very direct statement of FACTS about my position, and my exposure of his position! Artemis 15:42, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

getting back to business[edit]

If I may make a suggestion, at this point everybody seems to be pretty much repeating their themes, and the argument has become circular. Why do we not give the matter a rest for a while and see if more inspiration surfaces? Haiduc 11:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly agree with Haiduc that we should be "getting back to business" in editing this article to Wikipedia standards. I also agree with Haiduc that "Bacon, the founder of modern science, thought by many to have been the most important mind of the second millenium," . . . should not have "a one-sided view" presented.
Artemis, Steranko, Sujata Kapila, Emery, qp10qp and I have all made the point that this article should not have an imbalanced point of view (POV) that attempts to convince the reader that the opinions of several authors about Bacon being a homosexual are true - when they are actually speculation.
Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving homosexuality. THAT IS A SIMPLE HISTORICAL FACT - not an opinion or point of view. As Artemis pointed out, why "insert so much text regarding speculation on his sexual orientation or activity???????"
The "Personal relationships" part of this article is a disgrace. It is downright irresponsible to be inserting into an encyclopedic biographical article vicious gossip (originated by Bacon's sworn political enemy and religious fanatic Simonds D'Ewes - and perpetuated by John Aubrey, purveyor of gossip) that is irrelevant to Bacon's historical significance. Why is it vicious? Because it implies that Bacon was a criminal
* SEXUAL PREDATOR ENGAGING IN SEX WITH YOUNG BOYS!
* SEXUAL PREDATOR ENGAGING IN SEX WITH HIS MALE SERVANTS!
YES mention that some authors have written that they believe there were homosexual elements in Francis Bacon's life. NO do not create an imbalanced article by including non-neutral language and a lot of text, thus giving the speculation undue weight and significance. Arion 17:22, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't be angry, that's an avowal of weakness. You perfectly know that several of your claims are false and that's why you get angry. I am sorry, but Aubrey is an author who is very often used by historians and you have no proof that what he wrote is not true. That's the same for Simon d'Ewes : his autobiography shows that he didn't try to invente any calumny, but that he saw Bacon's behaviour and then he condemned it. I am OK with you : Simon d'Ewes was a religious fanatic and that's why he thought that homosexuality was evil. But you too : that's the point : how is it possible to claim that a so great man like Bacon was homosexual : that's not possible, because he was a great man... And you agree that Aubrey didn't state that Bacon was a pederast because he was an enemy of Bacon : he knew that he was a great man, but he neutrally state that he was homosexual, that's not like you. And Aubrey had nothing to do with Simon d'Ewes : he couldn't read his autobiography, who wasn't published : that's two completely distinct sources.

I understand you're angry : you perfectly know that Bacon's life was affected by accusations involving homosexuality : your simple historical fact deliberately censure two perfectly well known sources who are formal evidences of the contrary. On the point that Bacon would be a criminal if he slept with his servants, you could say that Samuel Pepys was a criminal too : he slept with girls much younger than him. You see, I'm very quiet because I know that what I write is common sense. The real speculation would be to state that Francis Bacon is a heterosexual. Actually, I would like to know if Nieves Mathews stated that he was definitely heterosexual -that would be a real joke- or that it is impossible to know definitely his sexual orientation, because the evidences would be inconclusive -that would be more serious.

Anyway, it is obvious that people who don't want to talk about the whole aspects of Bacon's personal life base their argumentation about censure of evidences - to claim that he wasn't accused of homosexuality during his lifetime is a joke and not an historical fact unless history is a question of intimate conviction and not of evidences ; it is true that your historical fact isn't a point of view : it is an imposture. It's obvious too that you considere homosexuality like a crime and you don't really differ from Simon d'Ewes on that point, even if it is for different reasons.

For all these reason, I think that actually, you don't care at all of neutrality. I know what you want to write in the article : some stupid people claim that the great philosopher Francis Bacon was linked to the unspeakable crime/vice of homosexuality, but Nieves Mathews dismissed that and prooved that he was a lover of woman.

I am sorry, but that's not the reality and people who don't think that homosexuality is a crime and who are careful of the diversity of the evidences must resist all attempts to edulcorate or censure the fact especially when it is in homophobic purposes. 90.3.117.139 18:36, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

It's entertaining that a homophobic man like Simon d'Ewes contributed to reveal the truth about Bacon's homosexuality and that other homophobic people are forced, today, to deny and censure the evidences just because Bacon became the most important man since Jesus Christ (However, it is certainly excessive to say that, even if he was homosexual.)

There are no reason to say that Bacon's homosexuality is a speculation unless the contrary is prooved with more convincing evidences. It is not the case, so there is no need to convince the reader that Bacon was homosexual, it is enough to quote the evidences. People who say that he was heterosexual need to convince the reader, because it's all but obvious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.117.139 (talk) 19:15, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I would want to add that an aspect of the evidences is often neglected : the fact that Simon d'Ewes' diary was entirely private. It is a proof that this evidence is of great value, because his purpose is not to convince other people that Bacon was homosexual, so it is completely sincere. In a private diary, it is possible to write what you want, to write the truth. Actually, that evidence is more believable because it is private than if it was public. The account is very detailed : d'Ewes was very well informed about the details of Bacon's homosexuality and his lack of taste for women, especially his wife. This is so believable that Alice Barnham wasn't very happy, and the fact that she was first the heird of her husband wasn't enough for her. The privacy of Simon d'Ewes is another reason to think that it is a very reliable source.

There's really no doubt that Bacon was at least, not a heterosexual, because his behaviour wasn't the behaviour of a lover of women, but a man who was happy only with men and boys around him, no women. That is an historical fact. Enemies often use authentic facts to damage their reputation. People who try to picture Bacon as a heterosexual are not serious and have no common or historical sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.3.117.139 (talk) 20:08, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Having studied works by and about Francis Bacon since 1968, I know the facts about Francis Bacon and their context - in depth and in detail.
Human nature is an interesting phenomenon. When not having a substantial foundation for a position it believes in, it will quickly descend to sordid accusations and personal attacks.
Kindly read the guidelines at the top of this page. I would also suggest a review of the Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks policy. Arion 21:47, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I didn't believe you thought that homophobic was an insult but titles to fame. It's quite possible that you worked about Bacon since 1968, but what make you angry is that people who think that Bacon is homosexual have a substantial foundation and you have nothing but your intimate conviction, based or not on your experience. It is quite possible that you know a lot of things about Bacon's works, so complete the article, but you know nothing else than anybody about Bacon more than alleged heterosexuality. If your experience is a so crushing advantage on that point, you shouldn't have any problem to proove that Bacon was heterosexual : but you're working about Bacon since 39 years, and still not the tiniest clue to make your claims more substantiate.

But I pity you : there something pathetic in working so long about a personality, claiming that you have a transcendent knowledge about Bacon and his heterosexuality, but no evidence to proove it. It must be very frustrating. Anyway, I'm not impressed and the role are inversed : that's not me who have nothing to substantiate my claims : that's you. Because, you know, you're saying that he was not homosexual. Well, it means automaticly that he was heterosexual. So, if it is the truth, the normal way is to see if he had relations with women, if there is any evidence that he was a womanizer, had a girlfriend. And then, it is possible to conclude if there is elements to counterbalance all the several et various evidences suggesting that he was homosexual. You havn't provide any evidence of Bacon's attraction to women. So, I conclude that these evidences don't exist. Then, I'm forced to think that your theory is only based on your intimate conviction. And then, I'm forced to conclude that you have a problem with homosexuality and homosexuals. To say the truth, myself, I would be totally convinced that Bacon is homosexual only if there was a manuscript of him. I'm forced to admit that there is not such a manuscript and so, I know there is a doubt. But, if the evidences are the only available documents, and not the intimate conviction, anybody is forced to admit that homosexuality is the most probable theory and that the heterosexuality is based on nothing.

I will say you : I would be fast relieved if Bacon's heterosexuality was fully prooved, because there's nothing worst than doubt. You are lucky , you have no doubts or you hid it very well : Bacon was heterosexual, that's sure ; there are indications that he was homosexual, pfui, nonsense, there is absolutely no evidences of his love of woman. Bah, it's not important, you are an old scholar and your intimate conviction can very well replace the evidences.

Now you understand why I think you're homophobic : you contest systematicaly homosexuality without have any evidence of the contrary. If you were neutral, we could well say that Bacon's homosexuality is not completely certain, but his heterosexuality is less certain. You could very well say : I'm working on Bacon since 100 years, it doesn't make you a pope if you have not the tiniest evidence of what you claim. 90.3.117.139 22:32, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

If you are not homophobic -and I think that only homophoby can explain the constantly deny that a great man can very well be homosexual, at last when there is evidences-, so you are not conscientious or really blind. I would believe that Bacon is heterosexual if you had a formal proof; I swear, but you have nothing, that's a problem.

And if you think that scholars who admit that homosexuality is the most probable theory are not experienced, you may be wrong. That's their intimate conviction ? I don't know. Their theories is based on evidences of homosexuality and they didn't find evidences of heterosexuality or of Bacon's attraction to women. So, it is normal not to believe anything about this alleged heterosexuality, just because other people say there's no doubt he was heterosexual. Well, where are the proofs ? If it is impossible to say anything about Bacon's heterosexuality, there's no reason to dismiss homosexuality, just because people don't like the idea.

It's common sense, don't you think ; your experience didn't provide you any new element about heterosexuality. So, accept it or assume bad faith. Frankly, admit that homosexuals are not your cup of tea. It is strange that you don't admit that, objectively, there's nothing to say that he was heterosexual. I suppose you know without any possible doubt that Bacon was heterosexual since 1968. Obviously, an old idea, it's a darling thing. Do you know the Simpsons ? There is an episode where Lisa the clever little girl goes to the museum of Springfield : she meets the old curator of the museum who protect the official picture of the founder of the Springfield town, Jebediah Springfield. She has a work to do about him and a new document is suddenly discovered that proove that the official picture was not the good one. Believe it, if you want, but the curator don't want to believe the evidence, saying that it is nonsense, that it is not believable... The problem was that his whole life was devoted to the picture he made himself of his heroe.

That's an interesting story, isn't it ? Be careful, omniscient baconian scholar(s.) 90.3.117.139 23:13, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

We are not here to attack Bacon, nor to praise him. And we are certainly not here to discredit information about his sexuality because he did not rigidly follow 21st century vanilla gay customs. If Elizabethan homosexuality often involved people of different age or class, it is not for us to sit in judgment and label them "sexual predators." By doing that we become the predators, we become ethnocentric authoritarians imposing our value structure on people who could probably teach us a lesson or two about real values. I respect your erudition in matters Baconian, as well as the length of time you have been studying the man. But why not admit that in 1968 this topic was anything but openly discussed, and why not accept the fact that true historiography IS revisionism, that without revisionism all you are left with is dogma. Haiduc 02:23, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you Haiduc that the topic was not openly discussed, and I fully respect the work of historians such A .L. Rowse, author of Homosexuals in History, who have broken the barriers of sexual censorship of historical facts and personages - when it comes to other persons in history. The case of Francis Bacon does not require 39 years of study to see the simple facts for what they are. I have read ALL the articles and books that claim that there is evidence that Bacon was homosexual. I have read the entire letters, diaries, and collections of gossip that out-of-context quotes have been lifted from. The so-called "evidence" simply does not hold up to simple rational logical analysis. This requires only a few days of reading the primary sources, and does not require anyone elses interpretation. Arion 03:53, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I hope you will not be too put upon if I ask you to set out the basis of your judgment. I have done none of the reading you have done, I have only read second hand sources and the first hand material they included, and to my eye the conclusions of Rowse, Norton and others are commonsensical. And while we are at it, what is your reading of Anne Bacon's "yea". It is there, apparently, to lend emphasis to what follows. How are we to interpret that "yea"? Haiduc 04:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
3 primary sources have been used to try to build a case for Bacon being homosexual:
(1) Simonds D'Ewes - He was the political and religious enemy of Francis Bacon. He was a political enemy in Parliament partially because Bacon was a strong supporter of the Monarchy. He was a religions enemy due to D'Ewes being a fundamentalist Christian fanatic who believed Bacon's beliefs and practices as a member of secret societies such as the Rosicrucians and Freemasons were "pagan and un-Christian". His hatred for Bacon resulted in his writing in his own private diary statements that were intended to condemn and degrade Francis Bacon. At that un-enlightened and crude time in English history, one of the worst insults you could say or write about someone was that they were homosexual (using terms like "sin against nature", "sodomite", "unnatural vice", etc.). D'Ewes was such a madman that - when given the chance to give a guest sermon at a church - he called for the prosecution and execution of all homosexuals in England, with a possible vague hint that he wanted to include Bacon in the blood letting - without ever mentioning his name.
(2) John Aubrey - He was born 27 days before Bacon died (some believe he faked his own "death" on "Resurrection Sunday" [Easter] 1626 so that he could leave England) - so he was not a "contemporary". He was a collector of gossip (in today's vernacular: tabloid trash & rumor mongering). In his Foreward in the edition of Aubrey's "Brief Lives" published in 1962 by University of Michigan Press, Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey:
"He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He would try to get things down on paper the morning after a convivial evening - 'Sot that I am!' is the apologetic cry that is reiterated in his writings - when the people he was visiting were still in bed and he himself was suffering from hangover. He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people . . . "
(3) Ann Bacon - Ann Cooke Bacon, was a strict and fanatical Puritan who made all kinds of negative statements about the friends of Francis. Her "yea" was to put emphasis - not on any allusion to homosexual activity (where she would have used terms like "sin against nature", "unnatural vice", etc.) - but on her extreme displeasure at Francis allowing friends who owed him money, and a servant who was a "Papist", in the master bedroom at their home in Gorhambury. There were no sexual implications, since in those times beds were scarce and were normally shared with family, servants, and friends. Rictor Norton even stated that the context of Ann Bacon's quote was due to her being upset that "it violated decorum for a nobleman to allow a servant to sleep in the master bedroom; she felt that a lower-ranking bedroom would have been more appropriate." Bacon historian Spedding wrote that Ann had "lost the command of her faculties some years before her death . . . she was little better than frantic in her age". At the time, Francis Allen wrote to Anthony Bacon: "In my simple judgement, she spoke it in passion and repented immediately her words", as he'd found her to be in a general fury, accusing of anything that came into her head. Arion 18:44, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

You forgot the sermon of 1619. We have 4 evidences.

So, you think that all the evidences are wrong. First, If it is so, you could not say that he was heterosexual, but only that there would be no available evidences about his sexual orientation, homosexual, or heterosexual, don't forget it.

Second, you black the evidences : you present only the reasons for what they wouldn't be available and you don't try even to asking about the reasons it could be valuable. I know very well that d'Ewes was Bacon's enemy and that he wanted to damage his reputation ; so there is two solutions : first, he invented what we could called allegations, that seems not to be the case, because there is a lot of details in his private diary -that is not a less valuable evidences than public accounts Private documents are often more valuable than official documents and official history. Second solution, he tried to get some pieces of information about Bacon's habits, which seemed to be homosexual habits -these informations are related in the diary- and then he had another reason to hate Bacon, that man who didn't praise the family. Look at the nazis : they were fanatic too and they collect embarrassing but certainly true evidences about the habits of their ennemies. D'Ewes was quite able to do something like that : have a look on Bacon. If he didn't care to substantiated his claims about Bacon's homosexuality, he didn't provide details about Godrick, which was not a ghost. It will be enough to him to say a priori that Bacon was a "sodomite." It is not possible to claim a priori that his claims about Bacon are gratuitous.

Third, you don't care of the variety of the evidences. You say that Aubrey was a gossipy man. But gossips are often true and it is not the only evidence ; and even if his "gossips" about Bacon are not true, nobody prooved that it was the case. Look at the top of the article : the name of Aubrey is mentioned as a valuable source and he is quoted several times in the article. So, I suppose that it is a valuable source and I dont see why it shouldn't be in the case of Bacon's homosexuality. Anyway, it should be necessary to be a specialist of Aubrey to know that most of his "gossips" are confirmed by other documents or not. In the case of Bacon's homosexuality, it is by d'Ewes. And as you know that, Aubrey couldn't know d'Ewes or the text of his autobiography. So, he used other indirect sources, that are certainly destroyed or perhaps still discoverible : we know that censure and destruction are very often used against the evidences of homosexuality ; in the case of Bacon, we have an exemple with the censure sermon of 1619, that allowed certain people to falsely assert that Bacon's life was never affected by any accusations of homosexuality. So d'Ewes, Aubrey and the sermon of 1619 are three different and independent sources. D'Ewes and the sermon wanted to damage Bacon's reputation and it is not the case of Aubrey.

Fourth, on the point of the "bed" and "coach" companion issue, that echoes the sexual meaning of "bedfellow" and "catamite" used by d'Ewes. Ann Bacon wrote her letter to Anthony Bacon in a special context : his elder son was saved only by the intervention of the easy-tempered king of France. He was accused of sodomy and if the fact was hidden so long, still because of censure, it was certainly not a hidden fact to Ann Bacon. So, it was in her mind that the friends of her son could very well be more than friends. Francis Bacon was close to his brother and they have the same lifestyle. It makes a lot of coincidences. And there is a contradiction in your argumentation : you claim that it is very common to sleep with servants, but you agree with Norton it is a problem for a nobleman. I don't understand you, but I understand Norton, who knows a lot of things about homosexuality : homosexuals often have contacts with the lower class that damage the social hierarchy. A lot of examples could be mentioned.

Fifth, if you're not blind, you will admit that evidences are really well complete by observation of Bacon's lifestyle —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.218.89.149 (talk) 20:25, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Pay attention. The "sermon on 1619" was by Simonds D'Ewes (1 of the 3 primary sources), the political and religious enemy of Francis Bacon. Arion 21:13, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Bringing up to academic standards[edit]

We should be "getting back to business" in editing this article to Wikipedia standards. As Haiduc wrote: "Bacon, the founder of modern science, thought by many to have been the most important mind of the second millenium," . . . should not have "a one-sided view" presented.

Artemis, Steranko, Sujata Kapila, Emery, qp10qp and I have all made the point that this article should not have an imbalanced point of view (POV) that attempts to convince the reader that the opinions of several authors about Bacon being a homosexual are true - when they are actually speculation. Arion 21:13, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

In a time when politics was as ruthless as it is today and rumors could destroy reputations, one must tread very carefully when labeling someone's sexuality. If there's any question it seems to me that something like this is more appropriate for People Magazine, not an encyclopedia. What's the point? The diaries could have been written by d'Ewes, an enemy who wanted to bring Bacon down. It's hearsay and doesn't belong in a respected source of information like Wikipedia. Sage1225 20:46, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
As my good friend Haiduc has written: "at this point everybody seems to be pretty much repeating their themes". Just go fix the "Personal relationships" section so that it's neutral, not one-sided, and up to "academic standards"! Artemis 04:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

If you want to be neutral and change the article, the evidences must be explained. Simon d'Ewes is perhaps too much quoted. He must be mentioned that he blamed Bacon for his "catamites" en 1619 and that, in the entry for May 3rd 1621, he detailed his accounts, concluded that Bacon had sexual contacts with servants, like Godrick and that he claimed that "it was thought by some, that hee should have been tried at the barre of justice for it. " Then, in the same paragraphe, Aubrey must be mentioned because it is a completely different source. In the others parts of the article, Aubrey isn't dismissed and is taken as a valuable source, I don't see why we shouldn't speculate that it is "gossip" just because he is talking about homosexuality ; however, it sould be add that, as Aubrey was not a contemporary, this is not an indirect evidence : John Aubrey, in his Brief Lives, a indirect source, written after Bacon's death, notwithstanding his generally favorable attitude towards the philosopher, asserts he "was a pederast" and had "ganimeds and favourites." Then, the opinion of Rowse, Norton... must be explained, adding that they think that the letter of Ann Bacon, in the context of the recent trial of his son is a valuable evidence. Then, Nieves Mathews, who think that the sources are not valuable, because of the hostility of D'Ewes and the fact that Ann Bacon shouldn't talk of homosexuality. I suggest to not use the words "out of context", because the context is the accusations against Anthony Bacon in France too ; he was accused to have been sodomized boys and I believe it was in his bed, or coach, so, you know, we could have a discussion. And then, a neutral conclusion : the problem of the theory of homosexuality is that Francis Bacon, with his taste of secrecy, didn't aknowledge that his sexual orientation and it is why this theory can't be conclusive, have been contested and that's obviously a important fail. For this same reason, the theory of heterosexuality can't be confirmed, because if the evidences of homosexuality should indeed be false, as Nieves Mathews claimed, so the conclusion is that we have no evidence about his sexual orientation, homosexual or heterosexual.

I think it's completely neutral : reduce a lot the quotations of d'Ewes, mention -but without stating a priori that it's false- the fact that Aubrey used of indirect sources and was obviously ot an eyewitness. Present the two theories neutrally and then conclude that actually, none of the theories is conclusive and have lacks.

I would want to add that, if it is possible to discusse so long about Bacon's homosexuality, it is because several documents suggest that he was, and because his lifestyle is really not contradicting this strong probability. And to suggest you to be humble, as I am admitting that the theory of homosexuality is not conclusive, I name the only concrete evidences of his supposed and not proved heterosexuality :

1. Simon d'Ewes was his ennemy, so Francis Bacon wasn't homosexual in action OR IN MIND. (It's a neutral claims of Arion/Aburesz, who seems to have information hidden to others and to be the alter ego of his "friend" Francis.)

2. ?

3. ?

4. ?

5. ?

So objectively, the theory of homosexuality is more credible than the others, and I'm not prepared to let you censure the discussion in the article. The part on sexual orientation must be reduce (mainly the litteral quotes of d'Ewes) but must remain substantial. I think my suggestions are acceptable for everybody and if respected quite neutral, avoiding words such as "but", "out of context", or "dismiss." I will have a look on this and if neutrality is not respected and that the paragraph is censured and to much reduced, I'm not afraid to discuss about your lack of neutrality and your censure the next six months and suppress your edits. 86.218.89.149 09:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Today, an important number of gays are still closeted, because they think like Artemis, that homosexuality destroys reputations. If Nieves Mathews said nothing else that, for d'Ewes, homosexuality was a way to defamation and that we must be careful with his point of view, it will be quite neutral and reasonable. But Nieves Mathews was no so subtle : she claimed that homosexuality is a defamation, point, not only because it is d'Ewes, but generally.

Artemis seems to like academic standards. So, I have a gift for her, from Abigail F. Keegan, In Byron"s Othered Self and Voice, page 142, that give us scholarly explanations about Bacon's attachment for Godrick :

"King distinguishes specific dress and gestures that were used to identify sodomites and to separate the bourgeois values from the slothful effeminate gestures and dress of the aristocracy, 23-50. Davenport-Hines also identifies the features of the effeminate sodomite that had become standardized by the time of Tobias Smoletts's inscription of hom in Roderick Random, 88-90. See Cady's discussion of distinctions made between a homoerotic "masculine love", such as Francis Bacon's homoerotic attractions to other men, wich envisioned peer relationships, and the homoerotic love that involved the love of boys, 14-33. I note all of this to suggest that, as Trumbach, King and Davenport-Hines suggest, effeminacy in male-male relations was viewed differently in the Renaissance than in the eighteenth century. Eighteenth century inscriptions of effeminacy were repeatedly associated with an abject subject, a debased social position. Woods says that the effeminate boy in Marlowe's poetry is a figure invested with signs of power. Effeminate ornamentation augmented and assisted a boy's entry into manhood. Effeminate boys were also perceived as a threat to the state because desirous men might be distracted from public affairs."

You see, Nieves Mathews and you made a case of the alleged non-sexual meaning of "coach and bed companion" because of the "mind of the century", that is : a bed and a coach are in no way a sexual place. However, it is clear that the passage of Ann Bacon's letter is based on his disquiet that Francis had the same habits than Anthony. Anyway, the "mind of the century" includes the character of the effeminate boys, the favourites of their master, like Godrick for Bacon. And don't say it is a baseless social representation : Samuel Pepys clearly stated that a great number of boys had problems with their masters. Had Bacon problems with some of his servants ? It is quite possible, unless you are like Aburesz and think he was an angel, but of course a heterosexual angel. I hope that everybody think that d'Ewes was wrong to critic the fact that Bacon was homosexual and to "defame" him -his vocabulary, I hope not yours- using this charge. But the fact that this charge in itself was wrong or not, that is the problem, in no way resolved by Nieves Mathews. If you want, she formally prooved that the charge of homosexuality was very infamous for d'Ewes, but not that it was invented or true. You see, the fact that Nieves Mathews wanted absolutely to proove that he was not homosexuel led her in a too systematical way. She didn't try to examine what could be true in the evidences and didn't realized that what we know about Bacon's lifestyle don't correspond with the stereotyped ideal of the seventeenth family. She didn't develop the fact that there is no trace of heterosexuality in his life and in his private papers. Why ? Certainly because it was not good for her theory. All of her theory and Aburesz' is based on an a priori.

The "Personal relationships" section needs only to reference the differing points of view that have been expressed by scholars, and to have neutral language. I have streamlined the section, using Wikipedia standards and the input of all the editors that have expressed their views. I took into account the eloquent expressions of Haiduc and others who expressed resistance to the principle of censorship and a more affirmative stand when historical facts have been suppressed. I took into account the views of those in favor of a neutral proportionate presentation of the sexuality issue: Steranko, Artemis, CIreland, Sujata Kapila, Emery, qp10qp, Sage1225.
I have used the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis approach in order to attempt to come up with a version that is acceptable by responsible academic and Wikipedia standards. Arion 17:18, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I totally agree that in a lifetime which encompassed so much and impacted so many that far too much emphasis is placed upon his sexuality - especially when it's highly debatable - his achievements are not. So, let's get back to business and as Jack Webb used to say "just the facts, ma'am" and extend him the courtesy we ourselves would like by giving him and everyone else whose history we are writing the benefit of the doubt.Sage1225 17:38, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Nice job Arion! Finally this biographical article is beginning to look more like what an entry in an enclyclopedia should look like. Artemis 19:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I was afraid of that : the new paragraph in the "personal relationships" is a joke, totally unneutral. Homosexuality is presented as a non serious theory and all the paragraph is centered around the allegations of Nieves Mathews. I am going to change that. 90.3.113.123 20:52, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

That is neutral, and has nothing to do with your pseudo-neutrality, dealing all the time with your beliefs on NM partial theories. The paragraph is so short as yours, give the same information and avoid terms that are not neutral. And it present the two theories without saying that one is more true than the other. That's neutral. That was not the case with yours. Limitorder 21:40, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Limitorder for your excellent suggestions on improving the "Personal relationships" section. I have taken your suggestions into consideration, and revised the section to improve the neutrality and grammar. Arion 00:37, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I think this a good platform from which to continue improving the section. Unfortunately, it still reads like a debate in which the other side has perhaps left the room to get some fresh air. For starters, we should put n a couple of the quotes in question, rather than just having all these extensive quotes rebutting an inaudible argument. Haiduc 02:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I am happy of your congratulations, and I have no objection that the form of the paragraph remains like that, but I think there is still little problems of neutrality and balance. I quoted quickly d'Ewes because I thought that it was the illustration of why the supporters of the homosexual theory thought he was homosexual. And for Aubrey, I insisted that the main problem is that he was not a eyewitness. It is more neutral than speaking of "gossips" If some people think all the work of Aubrey is gossip, we need to mention it in the Aubrey article rather than here : say that it is an indirect source seems better and more adapted to the special case of Bacon. Generally, the paragraph is still too much centered around the theories of Matthews. Only the first sentence is really devoted to the theory of homosexuality. Then, the three primary sources are only named and it is explained why it is not believed by Nieves Matthews, and there is a kind or redundancy at the end of the paragraph : we had still understood that Matthews criticized the credibility of the two sources. So, I am not going to restore a precedent version, the present form of the paragraph is acceptable, what you have written about the credibility of the sources must be preserved, except perhaps for the term of "gossip", used two times in the article about Bacon and even not in the Aubrey article. I think really that the most important critic is that it is an indirect source and we need to quote at last d'Ewes or Aubrey to illustrate the homosexuality theory. One of these words, "ganymeds", "favourite", "catamite" must be quoted. Personally, I prefer Aubrey because he is far more sympathetic than d'Ewes. So, I don't want to irritate you, but it seems to me that one theory has still a better part than the other ; I think that my conclusion, stating that none of the theory was conclusive, because Bacon didn't acknowledge his sexual orientation, homosexual or heterosexual was a good compromise because we can't really and definitily say if Rowse, Norton or Matthews are right and here, you seem to conclude that it is Matthews.

So, I thank you to have taken my suggestions on consideration, you indeed have, but I am still not very satisfied. So, as I am an user, I have the right to make changes, taken your suggestions on consideration, of course. If you think that my new suggestions are not unreasonnable, you will perhaps make the paragraph more balanced and neutral. But be sure I am not going to alter the theory of Nieves Matthews : it is well presented. I just think that the other theory is not well presented and that the conclusion of the reader of that paragraph can't be something else than it is Matthews who is right. The real and neutral conclusion, should be, clearly exposed, that despite of the supporters of the two theories, who perhaps think that the evidences are conclusive in the way of their theory, the evidences are actually inconclusive, in a way or in the other, for different reasons exposed in the talk discussion -especially the fact that there is no evidence of heterosexuality that could counterbalance the other disputable -as I think- or unreliable -as you're think-, evidences of homosexuality . And it is not clear in the paragraph. I am not going to write that there is no evidence of heterosexuality in the article, because it is obsviously not neutral but it is a fact that the lack of documentation about a taste of women that is by definition suggested by the supporter of the non homosexuality theory force to conclude that if the case is not conclusive, it is because the evidences of homosexuality are not conclusive, but because the evidences of heterosexuality are not conclusive too. The two theories must be neutrally respected in the conclusion, you follow me ?

I wait some time to see and if nothing is done, I will see what I can do, in the respect of the supporters of the two theories. Actually, I thank you to have banished the word "speculation" : you have understand that it is not neutral and we can indeed mention the two theories and don't say that one is speculation and the other not. I am not going to write in the article that the work of Nieves Matthews is speculation, but a theory.

PS. I have read that Ann Bacon was not the biological mother of Francis Bacon. I don't know if it is a serious theory, i find it astonishing. But if it is a serious theory, we should perhaps mention it in this paragraph of the personal relationships ? Limitorder 10:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

So, I think :

1. We are not going to say that there is no evidence of heterosexuality in Bacon's life because we can't proove anything by the lack of documentation. But it would be desirable to precise, in the first and too short sentence, that Rowse, Norton and Stewart quote the primary sources, well, and, shortly, why they think that they could be true : because they think -presented as a part of their theory of course- that some clues we know about Bacon's life and lifestyle seem to support their theory. That's why what they think about the close relations between Francis and Anthony, his late marriage, his servants...

Then, shortly precise that theory, that remains a theory.

2. I think that the part on Simon d'Ewes can stay like it is. The main idea remains his hostility to Bacon even if his diary is very precised and may be true or false.

3. We really need to change the part on Aubrey. The place of Edmund Wilson's quote is in the Aubrey article, not here. It should be good to quote the "Brief life" : "ganymeds and favourites" the same statement than d'Ewes, but in a sympathetical way. Then, the precision that it is an indirect source, it's enough. I think that using "gossip" two times about Aubrey, only in that context in wikipedia, is a little bit suspect. Or, precise that it is Matthews who insist about this aspect of gossip in that context.

4. It is not acceptable that the last sentence of the paragraph mentions the name of Matthews, Rowse or Norton in the point of view of the neutrality. As I say, a neutral conclusion should be that none of the theories is conclusive, for different reasons.

I have understand why the last sentence is suspect to me : it is said that "Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving sexuality." That's not completely false, but not completely true : not completely false, because it is bribery accusations who really affected Bacon's career, and not sodomy accusations, in the context of justice. But it is not completely true, because the rumors and the accusations about homosexuality are not a fantasy, at last between 1619 and 1621. So, I think that the formulation of this sentence, that can't be the last sentence of the paragraph is not totally correct : a good formulation should be : Bacon was never judged after accusations involving sexuality.

Limitorder 11:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I have another good reason to consider that a claim such as "Bacon's government career and public life were never affected by any rumors or accusations involving sexuality" is very curious." Louis Crompton in Homosexuality and Civilization (page 389) write :

"But the historian Arthur Wilson noted in 1653that Bacon's generosity to his young, prodigal, and expensive servants opened a gap to infamous reports."

So, there was reports, it is rumours and accusations, no ? That's why I think that a sentence such as "Bacon was never judged after accusations involving sexuality" is really more adaptated and, first of all, more true.

Limitorder 13:19, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Sexuality discussion in "Personal Relationships"[edit]

The sexuality speculation section of "Personal Relationships" was finally getting to be trim and slim yesterday. Today it is starting to swell again, with suggestions to add even more - in the form of meaningless quotes!

As CIreland pointed out on this page: "However if the accusations were of a scurrilous or political nature, without substance and designed to defame, then obviously it is the impact of the accusations on the life and career of the subject that is of importance; if the impact was negligible then they should be omitted." So much for D'Ewes!

As for that chap Aubrey, how much value would any encyclopedia be if they quoted as their source articles by gossip columnists in tabloid newspapers? Yet that is EXACTLY what Aubrey has been described as: someone who "loved to compile gossip about famous men", - - and one who mixed up his "anecdotes" about different people. So much for Aubrey!

WAKE UP PEOPLE: THESE ARE THE QUOTES YOU THINK ARE WORTHY OF ADDING?????? Artemis 15:01, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


So much time is being spent on pointless speculation on Francis Bacon's sexuality (whether it was hetero, homo, or bi). There is so much significant research that could be shared in this article (with the appropriate references) about the evidence scholars have uncovered that sheds new light on the real biological mother of Francis (Queen Elizabeth), Elizabeth's other secret biological son Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (who the Queen forced Bacon to prosecute for treason), the efforts of Francis Bacon to bring about greater rights for women, the abolishing of slavery, elimination of "debtors prisons", separation of church and state, and freedom of religious and political expression.
Here are two points in contradiction to what has been claimed on this discussion page:
  • There has been the claim that Francis Bacon only associated with males, therefore that "proves" he was a homosexual. He frequently got together with the men at Gray's Inn to discuss politics and philosophy, and to try out various theatrical scenes that he admitted writing (the plays that scholars claim he could not admit to writing under a pseudonym are another issue). He was frequently hosting banquets in which the leading men in the fields of science, the arts, literature, law, and politics were invited. At his funeral, over thirty great minds collected together their eulogies of him. It is clear from all these eulogies that he was not only "loved" - deeply, and certainly in the eulogies this is a Platonic Love - but that there was something about his character which led men even of the stature of Ben Jonson to hold him in reverence and awe. Jonson is surely writing of Platonic Love in his words: "I love the man, and do honour his memory above all others." This depth of Platonic or Divine Love of a large body of men toward Bacon is sometimes misunderstood today, but can be comprehended to some degree in the manner that disciples love a Master. Yes, it was love, and yes, many will have been younger men than Bacon. Ann Bacon has been quoted, but even she - who may not have been his biological mother according to many scholars - may not have been taken into the understanding of what his meetings with young men were really about. This is especially true when taking into account his membership (and some claim leadership) of secret societies such as the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. Membership was restricted to males only, and secrecy as to the religious and philosophical activities that went on in those lodges was strictly enforced. In the inner esoteric membership, which included Francis Bacon, vows of celibacy (for spiritual reasons) were encouraged.
  • There has been the claim that there is no evidence that Francis Bacon loved women. This is simply not true. I have the published Love Sonnets that Francis wrote to his wife for their wedding day, and also written years later to Alice. In addition, there was his courtship of Elizabeth Hutton, when he was 36 and she was a young widow of 20. Some years earlier, Francis had written of the joys of loving women:
"Happiest state of mind and the noblest affection", which "doth so fill and possess all the powers of the mind . . . The only passion that openeth the heart . . . A fountain of curiosity, a most sweet ground set with infinite change" resulting in "the common and natural desire of children." (Bacon quote from Spedding's Northumberland MS., pages 9 - 13)
I hope the time I have taken to share this with you helps provide a wider perspective on Francis Bacon. Arion 16:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I must say that I prefer the intervention of Arion than of Artemis. Bacon seems to have written poems to two women. That's a interessant point and I am not going to contest that. If scholars claims that it is love poems; it is a thing worthy to mention. Why not mention that point at the beginning ? Oviously, a poem is a clue like another but not the proof of an exclusive sexual orientation. There's two important points : is it private poems, just for the women in question or is it published poems ? In the Italy of Renaissance, for example, we have homosexual or bisexual poets who wrote conventionnal poems for a Muse or for a famous lady -see the case of Michelangelo to Vittoria Colonna. Obviously, it is his wife. So, it could very well be mentioned about the relations with his wife and if these poems are informative.

But about homosexuality, nothing is changed : the homosexual humanist of the Renaissance or of the late Renaissance is often a bisexual man rather than an exclusive homosexual man : see Ludovico Ariosto, a father, who advised the man of culture to have at last one time in his life an affair with a people from his own sex and that all the humanists have homoerotic feelings. See the case of Torquato Tasso, documented by some letters to boys, but who wrote poems to influent women.

My problem is not that he could have loved women. That would be much better to him and I think that people who are able to love and be attracted by both sexs are more accomplished human beings than the others. But the hysterical reaction of Artemis -sorry to be unpolite but there is no other words- shows that she don't think so. Nobody have formal proof that Bacon slept with a boy or with a women. There is only two opposite theories that are both not conclusive, because Bacon was very secret. I believed that Artemis wanted neutrality. So, in that unconclusive case, the two theories mus be have the same part and the paragraph must have a neutral end, not a polemical and not very true sentence. I just say it is not the case and that the evidences were not well examined by Matthews, stating to fast that they were incredible. A respectable number of scholars and other people think that, if the evidences are disputable, it is not a priori unreliable and that they have a part of truth. Arion learn me that Bacon wrote poems to women -I thank him for that- perhaps Aburesz has learned today that there is a document of 1653, claiming that the alleged relations between Bacon and other boys were documented by various "reports." That's why the polemical sentence of conclusion seems to be not true in formulation.

So, I must say honestly that I am searching a solution to make the paragraph more neutral, really respecting the two theories and the fact, in conclusion that none is conclusive. I must add that my intention is not to enlarge the paragraph or to say that Nieves Matthews is wrong. I must add that if my intention is to remain polite if I have the feeling that nobody want to deny the possibility -for me, it's probability- that Francis Bacon had at last homoerotic feelings because of hysterical homophoby. The sources are what they are, we don't have all the documents to build an entire knowledge : some have been lost, destroyed or not written. What remains can be the reflect of truth or not. Some serious scholars think with a good argumentation that they can very well be the reflect of a reality. You don't have to censure them or to say it's wrong if the other theories are no conclusive. I am astonished that Artemis is so severe against Aubrey in this paragraph and not elsewhere. Be indulgent : Aubrey didn't write nothing but stupidities and he "accused" of homosexuality only one of the great men of his Brief Lives. You see, that's not a bad man and some historians think that his work is sometimes informative and corroborated by other evidences.

I need some time to think how the paragraph can be more neutral. The present version don't explain the theory of Rowse and Norton. It is bias, because is actually just a refutation point after point of that theory, just like in the book of Matthews. So, it's just a paragraph of Matthews, by definition not neutral and not reflecting that all the theories are inconclusive. I am going to work on this problem and in some days, the paragraph will be changed in a more neutral way.

Everybody can contribute to the other parts of the article. Nobody does it, it is not because there is a debate about homosexuality.

Limitorder 21:21, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

What I don't understand is why this is even being included, much less debated to this degree. Does this mean that after everyone who is contributing to this article dies that in your obituary there should be a reference to your sexuality? Or, what someone wrote in their diary about your sexuality? Or, speculation about your sexuality? It's ridiculous. You'll be dead. I'm far more interested in what you contributed to life. I, for one, vote for non-inclusion. If not, we need to create a sexual preference section for everyone in Wikipedia and write anything, anyone ever thought, wrote, or said about them. It's completely different if someone comes out and proclaims themselves a homosexual.Then we have a fact. Think again and remember this is an encyclopedia, and not as I said before - a gossip magazine! Sage1225 21:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The Love Sonnets that Francis wrote, and which are now published, were both written to his wife Alice, whom he deeply loved & cherished. You can see his love for her in the passionate verses he wrote. Arion 22:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Sexuality is a topic like another and make sense because we have a documentation about it. Scholars like Rowse, Norton or Nieves Matthews think it is important because they discuss that, thinking they have the truth. That matter had been censured. The paragraph must be changed because it is a paraphrase of Matthews. How many homosexual poets have written sincere or unsincere poems to women because of conventions or of censure ; it is not a proof that he didn't like boys ; myself, I was in love one time with a girl, but it was not sexual. There is a paragraph about personal relationship. The question of homosexuality is an important and legitimate topic in that paragraph. I have no reason to believe that he hated his wife ; Keynes was really and truly in love with Lopokova, like Bacon. If some scholar have studied these sonnets, we have to mention it. Now, about homosexuality, there is two unconclusive theories. We have to present it with a lot of precaution with : "would be", "think that it would be", "should" and without "but", "however", "NM dismissed" (Or Rowse, or Norton), Tartampion definitely proove that... And first of all, a sentence of conclusion that is not biased and false. So, I'm going to see what to do, as I said.

I hope that when I'll die, it will be in a more humanist time than Bacon or present time and that nobody will censure or judge homosexuality. If I do something daring to remain in the memories -I am not so pretentious, I hope that some rehabilitators scholars won't say : That's a calomny to say that he was homosexual, or "He was homosexual, but he made great things." I would say to these scholars the kind of sentence that Willem Arondeus said before to die : "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards", with some adaptations, I hope, not criminal, not vicious...

So there's no reason to censure the discussion about homosexuality in the article and I must say that I'll be careful to any attemps to censure, non neutrality and non balance. I don't really want to be engaged in an edit war, and let for some time the article like it is, but it will be changed by me or another in the way of the neutrality. Limitorder 14:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I have read your comments with thoughtful consideration, and have attempted to make the section more neutral. Hopefully now I can dedicate some time to contributing a small fraction of the wealth of research scholars have written about his alleged royal birthright, his contributions to literature, science, and philosophy. Arion 17:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I think you are sincere. I searched the changes you made. It must be that you deleted the "collection of gossip" ; well, that's a good think to say one time that it is, even if it isn't the right place for that. But, for me, the principal problem, it is mainly the sentence of conclusion : it must be neutral, reflecting the fact that the two theories are inconclusive. It is necessary to change the actual sentence : "Bacon was not judged because of the rumors and accusations or pederasty, or sodomy", or "Matthews said that there Bacon's life was not affected by..., but the supporters of the theory of homosexuality think there is evidences prooving it is not ; I must say that I find that sentence chocking because because nothing can't say that these rumors and accusation, true or wrong are inexistant. Then, that is not a good formulation, especially for a sentence of conclusion, that should be neutral and not biased. I must say that for me, a real neutrality, in an inconclusive case, forced to expose the argumentation of the two theories and not only Matthews : about the rumors and accusations, about Ann Bacon's letter : there is others opinions than Matthews and it is not mentioned, and it must be neutrally made. About d'Ewes and Aubrey, it is Matthews choice to state that it is absolulety unreliable, the supporters of the other theory that the evidences dont have to be a priori rejected a priori. So every point of the argumentation of Matthews must be counterbalanced with the point of the other theories, without to say what is true.

I agree with Haiduc, I won't change the paragraph until two weaks, because nobody have tried to delete the precedent version and avoid then an edit war and that's it's normal to take time to think. But it is clear to me that there is no other way to be really neutral. Obviously, the precedent version was not really balanced and neutral and is is the same now, but I swear that my next version will not be unbalanced and will present with impartiality the two theories, without saying the finally unknown good one.

I would like to say, If I may, that one of the objections of Aburesz about writing that Bacon was homosexual is that he was presenting as a criminal, because it was said that, after evidences he probably or possibly slept with teenagers, between 15 and 20, perhaps. Well, remember that Alice Barham was 14. But, here, you don't seem to be horrified. Should I think it's the sex of the servants rather than age who was a problem to you ? The difference was of 30 years and if you don't think it's horrible that the wife was so young, you can not say it is horrible that Bacon may sleep with boys of the same age, unless that's homosexuality who is a problem to you. So, you see, it was really not necessary to get angry with that. If Bacon was attracted by a girl of fourteenth or fiftheeth, as you seem to think because of the sonnets, it is not a problem to quote the theories of supporters who think he was homosexual or pederast. At the contrary, if you think that it was a chaste and platonic attraction, because Bacon was perfect and couldn't have sex with a so young girl, so you could wonder why he married. I know that this age of 14 was more frequent than today in the upper class, but so, you can't say that it wasn't frequent for these people to be attracted by people why are very young.

So, in all case, refuse to mention Bacon's homosexuality or pederasty because it would infamous is a jugement of value and don't justify that one of the two valuable theories is not fully and neutrally quoted.

Limitorder 20:34, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Improving the article[edit]

  • (1) You are correct that one of my major objections, from the very beginning, was the inclusion of derogatory language that was quoted from Simonds D'Ewes, the hate-filled religious fanatic who called for the EXECUTION of all homosexuals. His inflammatory and degrading language has repeatedly been inserted into this article.
  • (2) Inclusion of the hearsay and gossip from John Aubrey is not a responsible thing to do in a biographical entry in an encyclopedia. I have read about Aubrey being paid to write commentaries and collect gossip. He could not even keep the gossip straight, according to what has been documented by historian Edmund Wilson. It may even be that the gossip that Aubrey scribbled down about one of the Bacons was actually about Anthony Bacon!
  • (3) Another problem I have, in devoting so much space to the homosexual speculation, is that it is not based on any actions or words of Francis Bacon, but on third party quotes. There are no words or actions by Francis Bacon that would lead one to believe he was homosexual. There are plenty that would lead one to believe he was heterosexual.
    • (a) His courtship of Elizabeth Hutton, when he was 36 and she was a young widow of 20. Some years earlier, Francis had written of the joys of loving women. Years later Francis wrote about how he regreted that he had not been able to marry Elizabeth Hutton (she broke off the courtship to marry a wealthier man).
    • (b) When James I, took over the throne from Queen Elizabeth I (alleged by some to secretly have been Bacon's mother), to protect his head, Bacon wrote a letter to King James I, delivered through the Secretary of State, renouncing any ambition to the throne, and announcing his decision to marry a "commoner", Alice Barnham. (Reference: Alfred Dodd, Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story London: Rider & Co., pages 372-377) Considerations of government offices and alliances are a well-documented historical fact. An example of this was Queen Jadwiga of Poland. She was married at the age of twelve in order to unite Poland with Lithuania in 1385. Regardless of the political consideration, Francis proceeded to love Alice - as shown by his 2 Love Sonnets to her (on their wedding day, and years later when she was many years older).
    • (c) Just as Thomas More wrote Utopia as his vision of an ideal society, in 1623 Bacon's aspirations and ideals were expressed in The New Atlantis: his creation of an ideal land where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit" were the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of Bensalem. Franics wrote of "the faithful nuptial union of man and wife," regardless of alliances and positions. In his vision of his ideal society, homosexuality did not exist. He wrote: "As for masculine love, they have no touch of it, and yet there are not so faithful and inviolate friendships in the world as are there", and "there is not under the heavens so chaste a nation as this of Bensalem.".


  • (4) Speculation that Francis Bacon had sexual relations with his servants is VERY WRONG. Alan Bray, author of Homosexuality in Renaissance England, made the unbelievable statement, that since it was a "fact" that male servants were male prostitutes, and since Francis Bacon had male servants, then he must have been having sexual relations with them! And it makes no difference if there is speculation that someone had sexual relations with male or female servants. It is still a pointless and silly argument to be making. Arion 02:35, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought that we were going to take a furlough from this Elizabethan passion play. However, since you saw fit to set down your very own apostolic creed, let me point out some inconsistencies.
Your disparaging view of d'Ewes is not supported by his bio here in the Wikipedia. His position that all sodomites were to be executed was not "extremist," it was the law of the land. As I had mentioned earlier, Bacon's brother almost was executed for a pederastic relationship, and his brother-in-law, Mervyn Touchet certainly was put to death for sodomy, together with two of his servants!
If Aubrey reports gossip about Bacon's relations with his servants that is very significant: it proves that gossip about it was rife. We are not in a court of law trying to prove guilt or innocence, we are documenting history, and gossip IS part of history.
It passes belief that you would demand that Bacon himself to document, for posterity, his own love relations which, had they become public, would have brought about his disgrace and death!
His love of women in no way precludes his passion for youths, no more than Shakespeare's sonnets to his Dark Lady eclipse the ones to the Fair Youth.
It is nice that you mention his Utopia devoid of male love, but did you forget that his treatise on beauty focused exclusively on male beauty???
I am sorry that you seem to persist in flogging this one-sided view, because it does not bode well for our rematch down the line. Haiduc 04:56, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes Haiduc we were going to "take a furlough" for 2 weeks. Then soon after I wrote that I thought it was a good idea, Limitorder wrote his additional comments on this page.
Whether it is the 17th century or the 21st century, any politician (like D'Ewes) who asks to give a guest sermon at a church and then calls for the mass murder of all homosexuals is a madman. Quoting a madman as a historical source is certainly questionable.
I have read what some have tried to claim Bacon wrote about in his Essay "On Love". The truth, when you look at the actual Essay, is quite different! He cautions against engaging in "this weak passion" and holds up "nuptial love" (of a man and a wife in marriage) and love for humanity that "maketh men to become humane and charitable". He clearly states "wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it." Read it for yourselves:
Francis Bacon's Essay On Love
The stage is more beholding to love, than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is even matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies; but in life it doth much mischief, sometimes like a siren, sometimes like a fury. You may observe, that amongst all the great and worthy persons, (whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent,) there is not one that hath been transported to the mad degree of love; which shows, that great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion. You must except, nevertheless, Marcus Antonius the half partner of the Empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius the Decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely,) that love can find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epicurus: Satis magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus; as if man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and make himself a subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are,) yet of the eye, which was given him for higher purposes. It is a strange thing to note the excess of this passion; and how it braves the nature and value of things by this, that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it has been well said, that the arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty flatters have intelligence, is a man's self; certainly the lover is more; for there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, that it is impossible to love, and to be wise. Neither doth this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party loved, but to he loved most of all; except the love be reciprocal. For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the reciprocal, or with an inward and secret contempt: by how much the more men ought to beware of this passion, which loseth not only other things but itself. As for the other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure them; that he that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of Juno and Pallas: for whosoever esteemeth too much of amourous affection, quitteth both riches and wisdom. This passion hath his floods in the very times of weakness, which are, great prosperity and great adversity; though this latter hath been less observed: both which times kindle love, and make it more frequent, and therefore, show it to be the child of folly. They do best, who, if they cannot but admit love, yet make it keep quarter; and sever it wholly from their serious affairs and actions of life: for if it check once with business, it troubleth men's fortunes, and maketh men that they can no ways be true to their own ends. I know not how, but martial men are given to love: I think it is, but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature a secret inclination and motion toward love of others, which, if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself toward many, and maketh men to become humane and charitable; as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
Going to the primary sources is often very instructive, isn't it? Arion 14:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Do you read what you write?! "Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it." Of the three parts of this sentence, the first confirms the necessity of concourse with women, the second the superiority of concourse with those who are NOT women, and the last the dangers of self-indulgence. Haiduc 15:21, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Obviously, all is still a problem of argumentation and interpretation in an inconclusive case. It is possible for the supporters of the two theories to find differents meanings in a lot of texts. For instance, I see a term such as "the person loved", without precision of sex. Of course, you can insist that it deals with nuptial love, but I can say that he married very late. The, you can say to me it is not because he was homosexual, he had other reasons. I could say that these reasons -if it is true- are a way to hidd the real reason, that using a term such as "friendship is an acceptable way to speak of his attraction to other men. And, first of all, Bacon wrote to be read by a public.

That's why I would want to do what I wrote, to mention the argumentation of the two theories. If the argumentation of Rowse and Norton is so weak, serious people, like you will see it, or, perhaps, conclude that the case is indeed inconclusive.

Limitorder 15:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


Anyone can see that "friendly love perfecteth it" refers to the (non-sexual) love of friendship.

How perverse! HAVE YOU NO SHAME??? Artemis 20:13, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Obviously "friendly love perfecteth it" is a reference to friendship - not to anything sexual. Arion 20:43, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
[Recovering from convulsions induced by Artemis' sense of humor] Do not be fooled by the "obvious." What the three forms of relationship have in common is not friendship, but love. One is love for women, the other is love for men, and the last is love run amok. Thus Bacon's reference to "friendship" is a daring allusion to male love, in the clearest terms he could use short of courting disaster. His eloquent conclusion is nothing but a more genteel echo of the Afghan saying, "Women for business and boys for pleasure." This is not an uncommon theme in his time. As Watkins states, Montaigne's essay "De l'amitié" (1580) praises friendship along Ciceronian lines as a condition superior to all other human relationships. In a misogynistic turn typical of Renaissance discourses on the subject, Montaigne insists that friendship surpasses heterosexual attachment because women are fundamentally incapable of such complete spiritual communion.[7] And for Montaigne, of course, "Ideal friendship [...] is in fact strictly homosexual"[8]. Haiduc 21:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It's OBVIOUS that "friendly love perfecteth it" refers to the quality of love expressed as friendship. Where is your sense of decency and courtesy? If you asked 100 people, 100 of them (except "Limitorder" and "Haiduc") would say it does not refer to any homosexual stuff!
As my namesake, the "Goddess of the Hunt", I like to hunt down the FACTS. The FACTS are that Bacon was not homosexual (or as "Limitorder" has now been back-tracking: bi-sexual). If there is anything significant in his life regarding sexuality, it's that he may have taken vows of celibacy as part of his Rosicrucian activities (according to the sources that Arion mentioned).
More FACTS that I have hunted down: those who are so determined to "prove" that Francis Bacon was homosexual are activists associating themselves with the WikiProject LGBT studies. By the way, LGBT stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Ttransvestite! You can read all about their serious "academic" research. (you don't have to take take my word for it read it yourselves) How interesting! How revealing of special interests!
Hmmm . . . just can't help wondering what is more important to them: fair & neutral Wikipedia editing or the LGBT agenda? Just wondering! Artemis 22:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I have just re-read Bacon's Essay On Love and even showed it to a colleague today over lunch. We both agree that there is no other interpretation possible except that Bacon indicated that he does not approve of the homosexual interaction of Marcus Antonius and Appius Claudius, and speaks positively of the love between a man and a wife, the love in a friendship, and love for all humanity. There are simply no sexual connotations possible in Bacon's reference to "friendly love perfecteth it". Arion 23:03, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

You have not answered the objections raised, Artemis has dropped her mask to reveal something less than divine, and I insist on my two week furlough from battle. A bientot, Haiduc 23:13, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Haiduc asks "do you read what you write?" I would respond by saying "do you just interpret what appears to be a neutral statement about friendly love anyway you want?" For crying out loud, what's your real agenda? I'm a man. I have friends I love. Does that make me homosexual? Why don't you give it a rest and move on to something that has facts.Sage1225 23:40, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • To take Francis Bacon's Essay On Love and compare it to Montaigne's alleged assertion that "Ideal friendship [...] is in fact strictly homosexual" is a bit of a stretch, I'm sorry to say. That is my answer Haiduc. Ben Jonson was surely writing of Platonic Love in his staement about Bacon: "I love the man, and do honour his memory above all others." Similar statements were made by other friends and admirers of Bacon. You admitted that "it would be perverse to make anything sexual out of that." I simply can not see how anyone could deduce anything sexual out of Francis Bacon's statement on friendship in his classic Essay On Love.
  • Another stretch by someone on this page is the assertion that the very "lack of evidence" that Francis Bacon is homosexual "is the evidence" that he is homosexual. Presumably this would be due to records having been destroyed. Sorry, but that is not a valid debating position, at least at the universities that I have attended. I believe that someone arguing that lack of evidence is the evidence would be laughed out of the debating auditorium. Arion 02:08, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


I think it is no interesting me trying to convince you and you trying to convince me. The only thing I'm sure is that the case is inconclusive, that the supporters of the homosexual and of the heterosexual make interpretations that can be true or false. To say that Bacon couldn't have sexual his servants -you see, I prefer to use the term couldn't- isn't based on what you can know but on a judgment of value. There is two inconclusive theories, one thinking it is absolutely impossible, the other that it is quite possible. So, I will not write in the article that Bacon slept with his servants, but that the supporters of the homosexual theory think that it is possible and that the supporters of the other theory think it is not. That's all. Now, I swear that I won't do anything until two weeks. If you think it's better to use that time to discuss the other part of the article or to continue to claim, that's horrible, Bacon couldn't have sexual relations, that's your problem.

Limitorder 13:33, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Well people, it appears I will have to make myself more clearly understood to "Limitorder" and "Haiduc". The TRAVESTY of what has been done to this article is the inclusion of language that has made it appear that Francis Bacon was a criminal. The language made him appear to be the perpetrator of criminal sexual assault on young boys and on his employees (servants). Those would have been crimes in the 17th century, and certainly are considered serious crimes in 21st century U.S.A.!
For Goddess sake, to insert such incendiary language into a Wikipedia biography about one of the greatest men of this millenium is despicable! That is why so many are unsatisfied with what was done to this article!!! Artemis 18:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Simon d'Ewes was a homophobic man. But I am very astonished to see people thinking that Bacon was not homosexual be so happy to state that he was homophobic and have so the possibility to conclude with relief that no, no, no, Bacon was absolutely not homosexual, that's a calomny. That's very, very, very ambiguous and for the neutrality... And, at last, d'Ewes was perhaps hostile but it does not mean a priori that he made baseless accusations. You know, there is true and false accusations, so d'Ewes may be true or false, that's the same for Aubrey and there is a historian of 1653 stating that there was "reports", you know. That's the proof of their existence.

So, as I said, we have to present the two theories without stating what is the truth and with a neutral conclusion without taken into consideration the hidden homophobic agenda. Limitorder 18:46, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Michael H. Hart[edit]

I deleted areference to Michael H. Hart, to the effect that Hart had listed Bacon as one of the most influential persons of all time (or some such) in a book he (Hart) has written. First, just how notable is Hart? Not very I think. But far more, Hart has an entry in Wiki, and he seems to be a thoroughly obnoxious human being, a white supremacist and racist. Let's not give people like this publicity! PiCo 15:10, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Well done PiCo! It's about time that obnoxious hate speech is put down and not given publicity! Artemis 18:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Limitorder 18:42, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Proceeding with improvement[edit]

As Haiduc has previously noted, a standard practice in conflict resolution is to start, not by trying to resolve the principal conflict, but by identifying and building on what common ground there is. The common ground here among all the editors who have expressed their opinions on the homosexuality speculation is that there should be some inclusion of that theory:
Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, [1] Rictor Norton, [2] and Alan Stewart, [3] speculate that he had homosexual inclinations. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [4] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive. Historian Edmund Wilson described one of the sources as a compilation of "gossip". [5]
So let us start with this agreed upon foundation, and discuss on this page what expansion upon this theme there should be, if any. -- Arion (talk) 18:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I would go with a short consensus paragraph that mentions the barest minimum about homosexuality character assasination attempts; then, let's move on. sage1225-- Sage1225 (talk) 20:09, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree. The paragraph is biased. Bacon's alleged love for women is fully discussed and not homosexuality. It was not difficult at this time to write poetry about women. He needed to have a wife for his career. The other love had to be hidden. That's why the evidences are not of the hand of Bacon : he had to be careful. The lack of neutrality of people here is frightened. And censure is the crowned queen. What is said about Bacon's alleged heterosexuality is as neutral as homosexuality. However, I must say that your theory about the affair between Bacon and Marguerite of Valois is very funny and absolutely not biased.

That's a very dishonest and unneutral way. You obviously try to "make a case" -as you like to say- for Bacon's heterosexuality. Let me say to you that if your "case", non neutrally presented, is presented, the "case" of Bacon's homosexuality had to be so fully presented.

Limitorder (talk) 11:51, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

getting more balance in this article[edit]

I am surprised that this article spends the time it does on both the Queen Elizabeth issue and the Shakespeare link, which are still generally considered in the realm of conspiracy theory with only a minority or writers giving in any credibility, and then dismisses the homosexual matter in a single sentence. The previous discussion above has focused on whether or not he was actually homosexual. That misses the point. The point for inclusion in this article is that he has been widely considered to have been homosexual at that time, up to the present day. A single author who argues against this should be certainly included, as should the fact that there is no conclusion proof, but the fact that it has been long thought (with the overwhelming majority of biographies either supporting or presuming this) is the point to be included in the article. At the moment it comes across as censoring what has been a genuine point of discussion about Bacon for a long time. Please let me know if you disagree ... JKW111 (talk) 08:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

It's an unfortunate human tendency, that when knowledge of a subject is limited, individuals will often make broad sweeping generalizations such as it's "generally considered in the realm of conspiracy theory" or regarding the sloppy homosexuality speculation that the "overwhelming majority of biographies either supporting or presuming this". After 39 years of studying Francis Bacon, and owning an extensive personal library, I can write with at least some knowledge about the subject. I can state unequivocally that both of the above generalizations are simply incorrect.
I have agreed to inclusion in the article something about the homosexual speculation, but have also suggested building upon a basic agreed upon consensus. Read everyone's comments on this talk page, and you will see that no one is for "censoring what has been a genuine point of discussion". Artemis, Steranko, Sujata Kapila, Emery, qp10qp and I have all made the point that this article should not have an imbalanced point of view (POV) that attempts to convince the reader that the opinions of several authors about Bacon being a homosexual are true - when they are actually speculation.
It is also a point of consensus that getting into quoting the ravings of the madman d'Ewes who was trying to incite the mass murder of all homosexuals, and the quoting of Aubrey's hearsay that he often confused as to which tidbit of gossip belonged to which person. In his Foreward in the edition of Aubrey's Brief Lives published in 1962 by University of Michigan Press, historian Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
In my opinion, the article should cover this issue in a sentence or two. Getting into extensive quoting of the religious fanatic d'Ewes (who was a political and religious enemy who wanted to bring Bacon down), and Aubrey (who was a purveyor of gossip and was that era's equivalent of tabloid writer) is not appropriate for an encyclopedia entry for biographies and general histories. The appropriate place for such detailed analysis of primary sources, however questionable, would be specialist books that go into details and into speculating. This isn't a specialist article. We can only state the known facts, the issues that authors and scholars have written or speculated about, and provide the references for further reading and research for those that are interested in a more in-depth analysis. Arion (talk) 13:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

My opinion is that someone who write that Bacon was in love with the Queen Margot or suggest they had an affair can very well be called a purveyor of gossip too. What is updated is not the strong probability that Bacon loved boys, but the way of some people denying systematicaly homosexuality everywhere there is evidences and everywhere heterosexuality is speculation as well. Oh no, apologize : Ernst Röhm's homosexuality, for instance, is prooved. I will proove the heterosexuality of people who was falsely accused of homosexuality :

Alan Mathison Turing had a heterosexual attraction to Joan Clarke.

André Gide had a heterosexual attraction to Elisabeth van Rysselberghe.

Oscar Wilde had a heterosexual attraction to Constance Wilde.

Leonard Bernstein had a heterosexual attraction to his wife.

Piotr Ilytch Tchaïkovsky had a heterosexual attraction to Désirée Artôt.

Philip of Orleans had a heterosexual attraction to the Princess Palatine.

John Maynard Keynes had a heterosexual attraction to Lydia Lopokova.

Lytton Strachey had a heterosexual attraction to Dora Carrington.

Duncan Grant had a heterosexual attraction to Vanessa Bell.

Paul Bowles had a heterosexual attraction to Jane Bowles.

Harold Nicolson had a heterosexual attraction to Vita Sackville-West.

Thomas Mann had a heterosexual attraction to Katia Mann.

Whystan Hugh Auden had a heterosexual attraction to Erika Mann (They get married.)

Klaus Mann had a heterosexual attraction to Pamela Wedekind.

William Beckford had a heterosexual attraction to Margaret Gordon.

Rock Hudson had a heterosexual attraction to Phyllis Gates (Why not ?)

Michelangelo had a "heterosexual" attraction to Vittoria Colonna. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Limitorder (talkcontribs) 11:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

And there is so many other people to rehabilitate : why not Marcel Proust or Lord Byron, who was accused to be bisexual or even pansexual ; a so great poet, that's a shame ! My way was to present neutrally the two theories. It wasn't done.

Limitorder (talk) 14:23, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The common ground here among all the editors who have expressed their opinions on the homosexuality speculation is that there should be some inclusion of that theory:
Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, [6] Rictor Norton, [7] and Alan Stewart, [8] speculate that he had homosexual inclinations. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [9] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive. Historian Edmund Wilson described one of the sources as a compilation of "gossip". [10]
So let us start with this agreed upon foundation, and discuss on this page what expansion upon this theme there should be, if any. Arion (talk) 14:44, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

This is absolutely unneutral and unbalanced. The case of alleged heterosexuality is fully discussed with an important level of speculations and interpretations. The "case" of homosexuality must to be fully presented too. Limitorder (talk) 14:57, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

We have finally had exposed the emptiness of this whole NON-ISSUE about Francis Bacon's sexuality. Arion documented 3 romantic relationships in his life: Marguerite de Valois, Elizabeth Hutton, and Alice Barnham. The first two were women that Francis loved deeply, wrote Sonnets about, and years later wrote about how much he regreted not being able to marry them. He did marry Alice and wrote 3 Sonnets expressing his love to her.
This is your poster boy for your homosexual agenda?? Trying to rally the troops in The LGBT studies WikiProject Newsletter Issue XI - November 1, 2007 towards a homosexual agenda is sneaky! Come on guys, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Just face the FACTS people! This homosexual speculation just doen't fit the known facts!
By the way, guys, remember that sexual experiences are not the ultimate purpose of life! Artemis (talk) 15:35, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Bacon's heterosexuality is not a known fact. The two inconclusive theories have to be neutrally presented and will be. Your evidences of Bacon's alleged exclusive heterosexuality are a joke. It was necessary for him to be married and he had to do something for that. It is enough for you that he wrote a vague poetry to the Queen Margot to claim it is conclusive they had an affair and, so that he was heterosexual ; Francis Bacon would have an affair with a married woman ? You are not ashamed ? We must delete that calomny ! Where is Nieves Mathews ? She didn't make all the job ! Actually, the way the case of alleged heterosexuality is presented is highly biased and is all but conclusive, with a high level of speculations and interpretations. I agree to take in consideration that aspect, but not to disdain without reason scholars who have good reasons to think that he was homosexual, or in other words, that he had affairs with boys. Obviously, he couldn't be openly homosexual and it is an important point : people who claim that he can't be nothing but a exclusive heterosexual are dishonest. And I am sorry, but such poetry is really often the expression of a platonic love or at least, simply as conventionnal as the share of beds. I have mentioned a lot of case of homosexual who get married, had affairs with women but are not heterosexual or are bisexual. The problem with people who want Bacon to be heterosexual and who censure the scholars who have good reasons to think that he was homosexual or bisexual, is that they are blind to this fact. And there is another possibility : with women, the pure and so platonic love and sex with boys.

Anyway, there is not conclusive facts to censure one side of the history in one or two sentences. Of course, heterosexuality is more serious and encyclopedic than homosexuality.

Limitorder (talk) 15:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I have got an idea : Francis Bacon could be a character of publicity : with Francis Bacon, discover the joys of loving women, discover the joys of drinking beer X, discover the joys of smoking tobacco (no, it is rather for Marlowe), discover the joys of censure.

Because you asked . . .
When Francis Bacon arrived at the French Court, a divorce was being arranged at Marguerite's instigation. King Henry of Navarre, her legal husband, was passionately attached to the Baroness de Sauve who virtually lived with him as his mistress. Circumstances dragged out the proceedings but she did eventually divorce King Henry and retired into semi-private life, constructing a mansion on the Seine, facing the Louvre, completing it in 1608. Here she spent the last years of her life, dying in 1615, aged nearly sixty-three. Arion (talk) 23:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Where is your sense of fairness and honesty, Limitorder? You, keep adding to the article: "The first known instance of public reaction to his behavior was in 1619, when the ire of the church itself was aroused by Bacon's doings: a minister of the time preached a public sermon in which he inveighed against the scandal caused by Bacon's "catamites," as recorded in a published transcript."
THAT IS DECEPTION! IT HAS ALREADY BEEN POINTED OUT ON THIS PAGE, OVER & OVER, THAT THE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL ENEMY OF BACON -- D'EWES-- WAS THE SCOUNDREL WHO GAVE THAT GUEST SERMON IN 1619!!!! So don't try to fool everyone by writing "ire of the church itself" when it was Simonds D'Ewes who engaged in that hateful call to execute all homosexuals!
It's about time that obnoxious hate speech is put down and not given publicity! Limitorder agreed on 5 November 2007, but is obviously willing to use someone's hate speech when it serves his agenda. Wake up people! Artemis (talk) 20:37, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


There has been a long tradition of abuse and misrepresentation of Francis Bacon. I have often seen how distorted facts can be recast as historical truths. We must be genuinely careful not to misrepresent sources and we must make every attempt to reach concensus.
The evidence does not allow us to say more than what has actually been documented. In other words, to say anything beyond that is to enter the realm of the unknown and the unknowable; it is pure speculation. No serious historian would be rash enough, in the total absence of documentary support, to claim that Francis Bacon was a practicing homosexual and expect to remain a serious historian. Present and summarize conclusions not the minutiae of the arguments.
I believe Artemis should not take up space on this Talk page arguing with Limitorder. And Limitorder should limit trying to convince everyone that Bacon was a homosexual "pederast" (by definition, a pedophile sexually abusing young boys). Arion (talk) 21:49, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The falcon and the falconer[edit]

No one seems to be hearing anyone any longer, and very ugly charges are flying. Can we catch our breaths for a moment, and return to the work at hand?

I would be interested in knowing, from those who are familiar with the literature on Bacon, of the works written and published in the last, say, thirty years or so, ever since it has been allowed to study and publish on the topic of homosexuality, how many have accepted his alleged love for his servants, how many have avoided the topic, and how many have tried to "defend" him from the allegations? Haiduc (talk) 22:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's evolve a consensus little by little[edit]

The common ground here among all the editors who have expressed their opinions on the homosexuality speculation is that there should be some inclusion of that theory:
Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, [11] Rictor Norton, [12] and Alan Stewart, [13] speculate that he had homosexual inclinations. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [14] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive. Historian Edmund Wilson described one of the sources as a compilation of "gossip". [15]
So let us start with this agreed upon foundation, and discuss on this page what expansion upon this theme there should be, if any. Together let's evolve a consensus little by little. Battling does no one any good. Arion (talk) 22:48, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Arion, you keep saying that the above sentence is common ground, which from recent discussion here is not the case. I for one think it is unbalanced, and I'm not part of any agenda. I personally agree with your conclusions about the wieght of evidence on each side, but WIkipedia is not the place for you and I to tell the world about our conclusions - it is the place to present the evidence on both sides and let the reader draw their own conclusions. I agree with the suggestion is the section above with a view to getting a more complete list of writers that espouse each point of view, and then we can talk about waht common ground we have. JKW111 (talk) 01:15, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I second JKW, the proposed sentence is not consensual. In particular, the term "speculate" is unacceptable. In the absence of evidence, I may speculate about your sexuality and you may speculate about mine. Based upon evidence, we no longer speculate - we conclude. The authors I have read had come to conclusions, thus the term "speculate" is both inaccurate and misleading. Haiduc (talk) 01:30, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with changing the word "speculate" to "conclude".

JKW111, when I referred to the 3 sentences as a common ground starting point, I meant that when you take into account EVERYONE who has expressed an opinion on this Talk page since 11 June 2007, this was the minimum (not necessarily the totality) that should be said. That's why I agree with Haiduc that we should evolve a consensus little by little. Arion (talk) 02:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I would like to respond to Haiduc's & JKW111 request concerning literature on Bacon, written and published in the last thirty years or so. Although this is a reasonable question, I have an issue with the wording. Let me explain.
Haiduc asked "how many have accepted his alleged love for his servants?" This is problematical, since I and most who have studied Francis Bacon know of his love for each individual he encountered, as well as all humanity. Bacon's love (non-sexual) for his servants was due to his unconditional love for all people. He treated his servants like they were part of the family, and was very generous to them. It would be a sad reflection on society when love & generosity towards one's employees supposedly indicates a person's sexual orientation, sexual intentions, or sexual activity with them.
  • Yet that was exactly what one of the quotes used in the books with sloppy conclusions about Bacon did. A note of 1653 by the historian Arthur Wilson, claimed that Bacon's generosity to his "young, prodigal, and expensive" servants "opened a gap to infamous reports." HOW CAN ANYONE IMPLY ANYTHING BY THIS OTHER THAN THAT FRANCIS BACON HAD A MAGNANIMOUS HEART! Generosity and nobility of mind and character is something to be praised, and not to be considered as opening "a gap to infamous reports"! Yet this Arthur Wilson quote keeps being forced into the "Personal relationships" section.
  • Alan Bray, author of Homosexuality in Renaissance England, although a fairly good researcher in many other respects, is the one who came up with the outlandish claim that male servants in those days were male prostitutes - and since Francis Bacon had male servants - then of course he must have been having sexual relations with them! (page 54 of Bray's book)
Where some have done excellent research regarding the evidence for the homosexuality of King James I, Leonardo Da Vinci, and various other historical notables, they have sloppily relied on gossip by Aubrey and defamatory attacks by Francis Bacon's enemy, Simonds D'Ewes, when it comes to Bacon.
Edmund Wilson, in his Foreward to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press, wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people." That in short summarizes the problem with using Aubrey as a "historical" source.
Simonds D'Ewes was a religious fanatic who hated Bacon for what he heard whispered as Bacon's "non-Christian" Masonic and Rosicrucian beliefs, and a political enemy in Parliament. In those unenlightened times, one way to insult a person was to level a charge of homosexuality ("unnatural vice", etc.). I believe that quotes from such an enemy's attempts at defaming his opponent are not valid "historical" sources.
So to ask how many authors have avoided the topic in the last 30 years, and how many have tried to "defend" him from the allegations, is not a matter of a simple numerical tabulation. Rictor Norton has his own website with his conclusion that Bacon was homosexual. Although an author of a number of books, none of his published books have dealt specifically with Bacon. The writings of A. L. Rowse, Alan Bray and Alan Stewart conclude that Francis Bacon was homosexual. Other than Nieves Mathews, other authors have ignored this viewpoint. For many years, until encountering this Wikipedia article in June of this year, I also ignored it as irrelevant to Bacon's fame and accomplishments.
Ignoring someone else's written conclusions is not automatically agreement. Just think how many books espousing "conspiracy theories" are out there currently about government leaders. Just because serious authors may ignore such "conspiracy theories" does not mean that they agree with them or think they are valid. Only a few try to actually write books refuting those "conspiracy theories". Does that give the "conspiracy theories" more weight because there are more published books espousing them than there are refuting them. Of course not.
So to tabulate a score of how many authors are lined up on each side is not helpful. I believe that most people, when they really examine the nature of the so-called "evidence" that has been used by A. L. Rowse, Alan Bray and Alan Stewart in coming to their conclusions, will consider it nonsense to even get involved in such snooping into the private sexual life of a historical figure for no apparent reason whatsoever. To create a "complete list of writers that espouse each point of view" would therefore be misleading, since most serious historians simply ignore such "tabloid journalism" level theorizing. Arion (talk) 03:54, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that as a minimum, the article should make reference (breifly) to the sources of the claims (d'Ewes, Aubrey, claimed reference in letter from Anne Bacon, interpretation of beqeaths in FB's will, sermon against FB discussed in the Stewart bio) pointing out that this (circumstantial?) evidence has led some authors (more than just the three (actually 4) currently mentioned) to conclude (or 'infer' perhaps?) that FB engaged in homosexual activity (I don't like use of the word 'inclination' either). Then can go on to point out that other writers (presumably more than the two currently mentioned??) doubt this conclusion, pointing to credibility issues with the original sources. I woudl then support a sentence stating that most writers of FB don't even consider the matter (notwthstanding that there coudl be various reasons for this). I think its better to include the d'Ewes et al info and then exmplain why it shoudlnt be beleived rather than omitting it altogether. But before we change anything, or not, what do people think??? I dont think this is a radical cahnge from the current text, but I think a little more complete?? JKW111 (talk) 04:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh and by the way, just because D'Ewes and Aubrey were prone to espousing lies, doesn't mean that everything they ever said was untrue. That would be drawing an unfair conclusion on them. If we ignored people just because there was evidence they had lied, Wikipedia would never include any statement form a politician.JKW111 (talk) 04:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

It's certainly refreshing to engage in dialogue with fair and rational people like JKW111 and Haiduc! This is a tremendous improvement over the personal attacks that were flung my way when I first discovered this article in June of this year.

By the way, the "sermon against FB discussed in the Stewart bio" was a hate speech against all homosexuals by the same d'Ewes that was Bacon's sworn enemy in Parliament. Francis Bacon was not mentioned by name. Arion (talk) 05:57, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I think personal attacks say more about the person making them. I agree that some previous comments here have been unhelpful. I was also thinking that because the current (and previous alternative) text doesn't really go into any detail on actual persons that were part of the homosexual claims, it possibly doesnt even belong in the 'perosnal realtionships' section at all ...maybe this shoudl be moved to a separate section on 'homosexuality claims' ... OR .. maybe to come at this from a completely different angle we should approach it from the point of view of evidence of relationships with specific people rather than non-specific pedarest claims. Just an idea - might not work. JKW111 (talk) 08:13, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Haiduc is the person who suggested placing the homosexual claims in a "Personal relationships" section. I personally believe that was an excellent idea. As for your reasonable suggestion to add "evidence of relationships with specific people" - that is the very problem with trying to label Francis Bacon a homosexual. There is no evidence of relationships with specific people. There are only interpretations by secondary sources, such as A. L. Rowse, Alan Bray and Alan Stewart, of the significance of defamatory attacks by d'Ewes and gossip by Aubrey.

And I again strongly suggest we step back and think how unfair it is to claim (as has previously been done in this article) that generosity and loving kindness towards one's employees (servants, housekeeping staff) is an indicatior of sexual orientation, sexual intentions, or sexual activity with them. Arion (talk) 16:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

No - let's keep going - I think we are getting somewhere. I agree that making such a claim is unfair, but there is a difference here .. we are not proposing that the WP article make the claim, merely that it documents that the claim has been made. To exclude it because we think it is a claim made in error woudl be to apply our own POV, and not consistent with what WP strives for. But I agree that whatever is in the article should be careful to attribute the claim to 'some writers' and not be forming a conclusion itself. Given Arion's most recent comment, and to keep it within the personal relationship section, maybe we could consider something like ... "Despite some writers, such as ... , (relying on the writings of FB contemporaries ... ) proposing that FB engaged in homosexual activity (in particular that he was regarded at the time as a pedarest), homosexual relations between FB and any particular people remains speculation. Mathews and Wilson argue that the evidence of homosexual activity is (doubtful/questionable/unreliable/???)." I think this presents all the relevant info, and hopefully avoids WP having to take sides as to who is right and wrong. What are people's objections?? JKW111 (talk) 17:43, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I actually like the working framework that JKW111 has suggested. Except I would not use the word "pederast" (which by definition means a pedophile rapist of young boys)!

What are my objections? Let me give you a simple reality check:

What if I read a gossip tabloid article (equivalent of Aubrey's gossip collection) stating that Actor John Doe is a homosexual who also likes sex with young boys (in other words, a "pederast"). Then I read a news account & published diary of a Bible-thumping religious fanatic and politician, who has been slinging derogatory insults at John Doe, who has also entered politics and is a political opponent. This Bible-thumping fanatic (equivalent of D'Ewes) even gives a hate-speech sermon about how John Doe is a "#$*!?&!" homosexual who is going straight to hell! Maybe I even see a television tabloid program about how John Doe's mother got furious that her son invited a few of his buddies to stay at the family's multi-million dollar Malibu California mansion. The television tabloid program even shows a copy of a letter that John Doe's mother wrote to him complaining about how upset she is that he has allowed such "low-life leeches" that he calls friends to share the master bedroom. Am I entitled to write a book laying out my "evidence" that I have CONCLUDED that John Doe is a homosexual pederast?

Is my book based on documented "evidence"? Have I now confirmed that I am a reliable historical researcher and scholar? When a Wikipedia article is written about John Doe, will my book be listed as a serious source for the homosexuality claim?

If this sounds silly, just think how much this is identical to what is being perpetrated upon Francis Bacon! Artemis (talk) 19:18, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

The answers to your questions are yes, yes, no and potentially yes. We are aware of the basis of the claims, so I'm not sure what new point you are making. I'm comfortable to not use the word pedarest, but still sure that it should be an accurate reflection of the opposing point of view (which includes the term catamite), nothwithstanding that many people think it an ill-founded point of view. We are not using the authors to support the homosexual claim, but merely to support the fact that the claim was in fact made. If we can't reference unreliable texts to merely note that certain events were alleged (however unlikely), then Im not sure what they're doing over on the Bible articles. JKW111 (talk) 20:17, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

We should avoid using the term pederast. I think your point is well make JKW111, that we are not using the authors to support the homosexual claim, but merely to support the fact that the claim was in fact made. However, in an biographical article like this, those sorts of references should be kept very brief. If there had been any impact on Bacon's career or government service (which there was not), then of course it would need a greater amount of content devoted to the subject.

We must be genuinely careful not to misrepresent sources and we must make every attempt to reach concensus. Arion (talk) 03:15, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Any reference to homosexuality should be kept to a bare minimum Sage1225 (talk) 06:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)Sage1225

I see that some people have no problem to quote extensively primary sources without any critical sense when it is in their way and to censure the other sides of the history. There is no reason to keep homosexuality in a minimum, the book of Jardine and Bray is as valuable as other works. When I claim there is censure here, it is no personal attack, but the truth. Anyway, don't think it is the last version. If we must take time to have a neutral presentation of the two theories, we will take it.

Limitorder (talk) 11:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Getting on with improvement[edit]

We should discuss changes first and work on consensus. Taking into account the comments of Steranko, Sujata Kapila, Artemis,Emery, qp10qp, Sage1225, Limitorder, Haiduc, and using JKW111's suggested paragraph, I have put together the following proposal for your consideration:

Despite some authors, such as A .L. Rowse, [16] Rictor Norton, [17] and Alan Stewart, [18] relying on quotes from Simonds D'Ewes, John Aubrey, and Anne Bacon to propose that Bacon engaged in homosexual activity, this remains speculation. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [19] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive. Historian Edmund Wilson described Aubreys's Brief Lives as a compilation of "gossip". [20]

I believe that our role is to document that authors and scholars have made claims, citing sources for people to be able to refer to for further reading. It is not our role to make judgements as to whether those claims are to be believed, whether the article is on history, biography, religion, or mythology. I await your comments in this consensus building process that embodies the Wikipedia collaborative spirit. Arion (talk) 12:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Counterproposal:
Many modern authors, such as A .L. Rowse, [21] Rictor Norton, [22] and Alan Stewart, [23] relying on quotes from Simonds D'Ewes, John Aubrey, and Anne Bacon assert that Bacon had homosexual relationships. One modern author, Nieves Mathews, [24] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive.
The Aubrey critique belongs at the Aubrey page, not here. Haiduc (talk) 13:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the Aubrey critique should also be at the Aubrey page. However to leave out the comment by historian Edmund Wilson about Aubrey makes it appear that Nieves Mathews is the ONLY one questioning the reliability of using Aubrey as a source of factual historical information.

Also, using "Many modern authors" and then "One modern author" is using the numbers of authors as a measurement of the weight of their importance. As I already discussed on this page, there are many conspiracy theory books currently making the rounds, which far outnumber books that attempt to directly refute those books. That does not mean those conspiracy books have won the numbers game and are more reliable or valid. Arion (talk) 13:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That woman certainly seems to stick out like a sore thumb in relation to all the other authors which hold the opposite view. And I do not think that you can brand them all as conspiracy cranks either. Finally, Wilson's out of context quote works against you and not for you, as I have already mentioned. The fact that contemporary gossip swirled around Bacon's doing with his servants is certainly very suggestive. At the same time implying that Aubrey mixed up Bacon with someone else is a gross misuse of the quote, since Aubrey's report is consistent with others of that time, not in contradiction with them. Haiduc (talk) 22:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

My mention of conspiracy books was simply used as an analogy, any subject would do. A larger number of books espousing a particular theory cannot be considered more valid simply because a lesser number of authors felt it was worthwhile to directly refute that particular theory.

Also, it is not a fact "that contemporary gossip swirled around Bacon's doing with his servants." The gossip was written down by Aubrey, who was not a contemporary, and the gossip did not swirl. Bacon's generosity to his servants is a fact. To even hint that this implies sexual activity with one's servants, male or female, is preposterous! Arion (talk) 23:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

You can't have it both ways. Either it is gossip, and if so the swirl of it seems to have even outlived Bacon himself, or it is not gossip and then it cannot be criticized as such. Haiduc (talk) 01:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

D'Ewes' hate speech, and Aubrey's perpetuation of hearsay (that was probably originated by D'Ewes) did not constitute any swirling gossip! There was no public controversy or scandal, and there was no effect on Bacon's career or government service. Arion (talk) 02:35, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

We are going in circles again. The facts are as follows:
  1. We are not empowered to refute published scholarship with our opinions on Aubrey's veracity.
  2. We are doubly prohibited from disparaging d'Ewes, once because it is original research and again because his logic was not only common in his time, it was legislated. Thus our critique is anachronistic, deceptive and ethnocentric. So not only is this original research, but it is research at a level that deserves a failing grade. Haiduc (talk) 03:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The facts are as follows:

(1) I was not refuting published scholarship with my own opinion on Aubrey's veracity. I have been arguing for the inclusion of the published scholarship opinion of historian Edmund Wilson, who is the one who described Aubreys's Brief Lives as a compilation of "gossip". Haiduc, you wanted to exclude his published scholarship as not belonging in this article. Here is what Edmond Wilson wrote concerning Aubrey in his Foreword to the 1962 edition of Aubreys's Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press:

This edition is, indeed, the first one that has been faithful to Aubrey's text and that has attempted to make a book from his manuscripts. For what Aubrey left was not a book. He loved to compile gossip about famous men and to note their peculiarities, and in pursuit of this information he often went to considerable trouble. It was said of him by one of his friends that he expected to hear of Aubrey's breaking his neck someday as the result of dashing downstairs to get a story from a departing guest. But he did not keep his records in order. He would try to get things down on paper the morning after a convivial evening - "Sot that I am!" is the apologetic cry that is reiterated in his writings - when the people he was visiting were still in bed and he himself was suffering from hangover. He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people, sometimes wrote the same story several times, and sometimes noted down under a subject's name only a few words or a mere list of dates and facts.

(2) The problem with quoting the venomous words of Bacon's political and religious enemy d'Ewes is that we are giving publicity to his hate speech (hateful comments in his private diary & a 1619 sermon calling for the mass murder of all homosexuals). If these comments were intended to defame or degrade Bacon, then they should not be included in Bacon's biographical article in Wikipedia. People can look them up in the sources we cite, if they want to read the full gory details. I agree with CIreland's comment on this page:

"One would expect any biographical article to document the significant interpersonal relationships of its subject. In addition, where those relationships were the source of contemporary scandal, one would expect either the scandal or the accusations to be documented too. However, if the accusations were of a scurrilous or political nature, without substance and designed to defame, then obviously it is the impact of the accusations on the life and career of the subject that is of importance; if the impact was negligible then they should be omitted."

When referring to Michael H. Hart, a racist hate monger, PiCo wrote: "Let's not give people like this publicity!" Artemis and Limitorder agreed with that sentiment. I believe that we should also not be giving publicity to hate mongers like Simonds D'Ewes. Arion (talk) 06:03, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

A good idea, no doubt. While we are at it, let's shut up all Christian mouthings against same-sex love, and lets not forget to cover up the Islamists too, those horrible people who topple walls over men who love other men, and who whip women who have the bad luck to get raped. Come on. I simply do not believe that you are arguing in good faith when you bandy about that kind of argument. Only document historical views if they are pretty? What do you think this, the Pollyannapedia? The reason we are not getting anywhere here is because you propound absurd arguments like that, and change the subject when you lose an argument. Haiduc (talk) 19:40, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, I have not lost any arguments. I believe that my point about hate speech is valid.

For example, in a Wikipedia article on the Jewish religion, it would be appropriate to mention that Jews faced horrible hate speech leveled at them for years by the Nazis in Germany. It would not be appropriate to include quotations from that degrading hate speech in that article. Arion (talk) 20:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Ive been on a wikibreak and missed this progression. Are we any closer? I was in borders today and decided to have a quick flip through random books that covered this period/people. Basically, not a jot on the homosexuality thing (although what is even stranger is that FB himself was little more than a footnote in the scheme of things - it might have just been the books i picked up - they were from the history section, not really the area where FB actually made his notable contributions. But I doubt that the books on his science and literary contributions woudl have covered his personal life anyway. Anyway, this is a long way of saying I'm a bit over it. Right now I woudl be happy with a really short sentence that says (sorry to change my mind so often): "Claims exist that FB had some homosexual relationships, but the basis for these claims has been criticised." Thats it. All specific writers and sources can jsut be in the footnotes which people can follow up themselves if so inclined. Lets get on with improving the other (you know, important) bits of the article. JKW111 (talk) 12:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the paragraph dealing with homosexuality is not so important as it must be and not neutral. I must say the treatment of heterosexuality is not neutral too and too long. But it is not important. Homosexuality must be discussed as long as so-called heterosexuality and first of all neutrally. I said that from the beginning. One more time, I have changed the word speculate and I am prepared to do so again and again, because it is not neutral. Limitorder (talk) 10:40, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I too agree that this work is incomplete. I have to say that the debates on matters of fact here have not been fruitful, and in the absence of progress on that front we need to work out here a paragraph that appropriately reflects the current state of the scholarship, not the opinions of the editors on what may or not have happened. Haiduc (talk) 13:59, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Haiduc that the opinions of the editors on what may or not have happened in regards to the sexuality of Francis Bacon is not relevant to an enclyclopedia entry. What is relevant is that, as long as there are written works by scholars, academic researchers, or authors, then their theories and works are validly referenceable on Wikipedia. Arion (talk) 18:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

So, what scholars such as Jardine, Steward, Bray, Rowse... have written is that Bacon was homosexual because there is good reason to think that he was. We need a paragraph to present their point of view, as well as Arion's point of view about his heterosexuality. That's why the biography of Jardine and Steward is interesting. I hope somebody can read it and present what these SCHOLARS have written about Bacon's homosexuality without the judgement of value of some people.

Limitorder (talk) 00:34, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Limitorder, I do wish that you would A) not edit as an IP (I am assuming that IP was you, since 2 minutes later you made the same edits), B) would use edit summaries so people could see what you were doing, and C) try to use the talk page to discuss, rather than simply carry through with your above threat to edit war if your suggested changes are not immediately implemented by other editors. This article has seen enough discord without your edits adding to it. Jeffpw (talk) 21:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with Jeffpw about the need to gain consensus on the Talk page before carrying out controversial edits. No one should be using this article to promote personal causes. Arion (talk) 21:30, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I am just trying to complete the sentence to make the reasons why historians think why they think he was homosexual or bisexual, that's all.

Limitorder (talk) 21:33, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

No, you are pushing a POV in your edits, and are edit warring to achieve your goals. It is not up to us to decide if scholar's reasons for thinking Bacon was gay were good or not. it is only our job to report that some scholars believe this. You are now at your #RR limit, and you will be reported if you continue in this vein. While I am sympathetic to your view, I am not sympathetic to your actions to have this view prevail. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeffpw (talkcontribs) 21:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

The paragraphe discussing heterosexuality is very long and interpretative. I am just adding that a lot of historians think that Aubrey is interesting and usefull : the proof of that is that he is very often quoted in other contexts ; I think it is more unneutral to just say that it is just "gossip" without saying that it is one of the concording evidences and a used source. But you were true for "good reasons", that was not neutral and "believe" remain.

Limitorder (talk) 21:50, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Homosexuality debate, continued[edit]

I have removed the title of Nieves´book as no other titles were included in the para. It can go back if all other authors also get to have their works mentioned. I have also removed the Aubrey critque as it is original research in the way it is used here. It is clearly an attempt to discredit Aubrey, though no scholarship has been brought forth to show that this particular comment of his is nor credible, nor that gossip about Bacons sodomy in any way refutes the indications of sodomy. Without showing applicability, the statement is tendentious. As always, the nays here are held to a lower standard than the ayes. Haiduc (talk) 00:49, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Here are some examples of Aubrey's "historical" scholarship from (Wikiquote):
  • Anno 1670, not far from Cyrencester, was an Apparition: Being demanded, whether a good Spirit, or a bad?  returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious Perfume and most melodious Twang. Mr. W. Lilly believes it was a Farie.
    • "Nicholas Towes"
  • This Earle of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart.
This is the "credible" source that is Aubrey! Arion (talk) 05:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
You are engaging in original research and presenting personal opinions, not our business here. Haiduc (talk) 11:57, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

As long as others present their personal opinions that John Aubrey is a credible historical source, then I will present information that exposes John Aubrey to be a 17th century version of a tabloid writer who collected unverified heresay and gossip. Arion 13:38, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

POV to suggest Aubrey to be a 'tabloid writer'. In any case the evidence for Bacon goes wider than Aubrey. You have deleted the whole entry. Contaldo80 (talk) 14:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Drafts of a new consensus paragraph[edit]

Thankyou Haiduc for the suggestion that each of the two sides should have the title of their work mentioned. I have added a title representing each of the 2 sides of the debate: the title of Rowse's book and the title of Mathews' book. We should discuss changes first and work on consensus. Taking into account the comments of Steranko, Sujata Kapila, Artemis, Emery, qp10qp, Sage1225, Limitorder, Haiduc, JKW111, and Jeffpw, I have put together the following 2 proposals for your consideration:


(version 1)

Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, author of Homosexuals in History, [25] believe that Bacon was homosexual. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [26] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive. Historian Edmund Wilson described one of the sources as a compilation of "gossip". [27]


(version 2)

Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, author of Homosexuals in History, [28] believe that Bacon was homosexual. Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [29] argues that the sources are questionable and not conclusive.


I await your comments in this consensus building process that embodies the Wikipedia collaborative spirit. Arion (talk) 06:04, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

How about: Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, author of Homosexuals in History, [30] believe that Bacon was homosexual. However, this conclusion has been disputed by others, who feel the sources are questionable and the conclusions open to interpretation."? Jeffpw (talk) 06:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with both paragraphs, as not enough representation is being given to those who support a homosexual interpretation of the original sources, depriving the reader of valuable information. I suggest that we should faithfully document all those who are pro as well as con. How about multiple footnotes, one for each author? Haiduc (talk) 12:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Taking into account the suggestions of Jeffpw and Haiduc:

(Version 4)

Several authors, such as A .L. Rowse, author of Homosexuals in History, [31] [32] [33] believe that Bacon was homosexual. However, this conclusion has been disputed by others, such as Nieves Mathews, author of Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, [34] [35] [36] who consider the sources to be questionable and the conclusions open to interpretation.

As Jeffpw has pointed out, the material should be so neutrally presented that readers cannot tell what personal beliefs any of us hold. Arion 14:10, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that version 4 is the most neutral and fair that we've had so far. Artemis 15:23, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I think we are heading in the right direction. However, a close reading of the entire section revealed that, unintentionally perhaps, so much extraneous material had been crammed into it so as to effectively bury the information. The conspiracy theory needs to be broken out, as I have done, because it was misleading and confusing, and presented as fact. There may be more extraneous material there but I think that this is enough for now. Haiduc 15:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe that Haiduc's creation of a new section on "Parentage theories" is a good idea. Arion 17:19, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I concur; the creation of a new section would help alleviate this issue and place it in a proper perspective````Sage 1225

Moved out paragraph on his funeral to section on death. I will also clean up the unnecessary explanation that the love was Platonic. It is more than crystal clear from the context, and I do not think that anyone here ever presumed to claim otherwise. Haiduc 23:59, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Unless I am missing something, my edits were undone in an unmarked edit. I have restored them, and will be quoting some of the original sources as that seems to be the custom for the rest of the article. Haiduc 09:37, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes you are missing something. The editors had developed a consensus paragraph on the controversial homeosexual theory, and you ignored the consensus that was reached and made changes. You even removed the additional reference to the 2005 Ross Jackson book The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story that disputes this theory. Arion 18:51, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
There is no consensus and no balance. The paragraph as it reads now takes sides against the homosexual interpretation. For starters, please provide excerpt from the Jackson book documenting your description of it. Haiduc 23:08, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
As requested by Haiduc, here is an excerpt from Ross Jackson's The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story, page 45:
"We do not know what sexual preferences Francis Bacon had. Some writers have claimed he was a homosexual. However, his utopian work The New Atlantis suggests quite the opposite. Bacon's ideal society specifically excluded "unnatural lust" and the story relates, "as for masculine love, they have no touch of it." Some writers have quoted occasional letters referring to his 'bedfellows', but this term had a quite different, non-sexual meaning in the 17th century as compared to our times. Due to a simple shortage of beds, it was quite common at the time to share what was available with friends of the same sex. Celibacy would seem a more likely path, given Bacon's high spiritual development, but the fact is that no one really knows. In any case, it is not important." Arion 03:13, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the current version (version 4 i think) is fine. It does have a NPOV. Its not perfect, but I think its the best that we'll get. I agree however that the para gets a little lost in the context of the section - the section should just document his relationships rather than wax lyrical on his love of women??? Also agree to have parentage in separate section. JKW111 00:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I also believe that the current version (version 4) of the controversial paragraph is NPOV. In other words, it is neutrally presented so that readers cannot tell what personal beliefs any of us hold. As for the quote of Bacon's waxing lyrical on his love of women, I will remove it. It was added there in response to repeated challenges by Limitorder to provide evidence that Bacon ever had relationships with women. Arion 01:54, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion the current version (version 4) is the most neutral and balanced that we have yet had. There is no need to make any more changes. Sage1225Sage1225 04:44, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

For once, I am in agreement with Sage. This version certainly is the most neutral and balanced yet. But to say that half POV is better then all POV is one thing, and to tolerate this much imbalance is another. Everything else in this article is treated in full detail and supported with quotes. This aspect of his life, or of his historiography, in comparison, is given short shrift. Haiduc 09:13, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The current version 4 is good. It's neutral and it presents both opinions. The addition of footnotes allows those interested in more in-depth reading on the issues involved to do so. Artemis 16:09, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Haiduc. We are in danger of taking great pains to paint out anything with even the slightest whiff of homosexuality on the grounds of lack of evidence. There is as much evidence for this aspect of Bacon's life as there is for many of the other assertions in the text. Otherwise we end up with a default position in articles whereby issues relating to heterosexual behaviour (marriage, children, mistresses etc) are given the benefit of the doubt and broadly unchallenged - but homosexual behaviour has to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt. This is not being neutral, but prejudging what should be viewed as the 'norm' Contaldo80 (talk) 14:29, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Haiduc and Contaldo80 - this proposed paragraph, while "neutral", eliminates all the detail and leaves readers with more questions than answers. Why is this one section given such short shrift? Following the edits of this section, one sees interesting and verifiable material slowly deleted, bit by bit, an an obvious attempt to white wash the subject. More detail can never be a bad thing. Put it all out there and let readers decide for themselves!Smatprt (talk) 00:44, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  2. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  3. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  4. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  5. ^ Edmund Wilson, Foreward to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press. Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  6. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  7. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  8. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  9. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  10. ^ Edmund Wilson, Foreward to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press. Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  11. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  12. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  13. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  14. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  15. ^ Edmund Wilson, Foreward to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press. Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  16. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  17. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  18. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  19. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  20. ^ Edmund Wilson, Foreward to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press. Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  21. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  22. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  23. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  24. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  25. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  26. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  27. ^ Edmund Wilson, Foreword to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press. Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  28. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  29. ^ Mathews, Nieves Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  30. ^ A .L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  31. ^ A. L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44
  32. ^ Rictor Norton, "Sir Francis Bacon", The Great Queens of History, updated 8 Jan. 2000 http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/baconfra.htm
  33. ^ Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148
  34. ^ Nieves Mathews, Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, 1996
  35. ^ John Aubrey's writings are one of the sources used by authors who conclude that Bacon was homosexual. In his Foreword to the 1962 edition of Brief Lives published by the University of Michigan Press, historian Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people."
  36. ^ Ross Jackson, The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story, England: Book Guild Publishing, 2005. pages 45 - 46