Here you will find video recordings of our Society talks, all given in London at our quarterly meetings. The most recent is below, and the talks go back to March 2015.
Guy Patton: Poussin’s Arcadian Vision – Search for the Golden Age
Following the discovery of a unique geometry at the heart of the sub- structure of his masterpiece Les Bergers d’Arcadie, research revealed that the 17th century French artist, Nicolas Poussin, was closely affiliated to a European wide network of enlightened intellectuals of which the English statesman, Sir Francis Bacon was a major figure. Bacon is considered to have had a significant influence on the development of what can be termed Rosicrucian philosophy, shared by many of his intellectual peers. Despite some variation in approach and belief, they shared in a noble, but at that time heretical, quest typified by Bacon’s utopian vision presented in his book, New Atlantis.
This was nothing less than the restoration of the mythical Golden Age through scientific discovery, personal spiritual enlightenment and social reform. Detailed research suggests that Poussin, well known to these intellectual circles, shared this vision and attempted to provide visual support and a means of covert, sophisticated communication through his art.
Guy Patton, a former teacher of mathematics, has always had a particular fascination for geometry and numerical relationships. An interest in history, architecture, psychology and religions led to his reading of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy. Intrigued but not entirely convinced by their allegations and revelations, he undertook his own research and published his findings in Web of Gold, 2000, and Masters of Deception, 2009. His latest work, involving a detailed study of Nicolas Poussin and his painting The Arcadian Shepherds, arose from one of these controversial allegations. His discoveries and unique conclusion are presented in Poussin’s Arcadian Vision: Search for the Golden Age, 2014. Guy gave this talk to the Society in November 2017.
Peter Dawkins Part 2: ‘The Light Twin’ – The Westminster Abbey Shakespeare Memorial
The concluding talk in this series by Peter Dawkins, about the two famous 18th century memorials that were created in memory of England’s great Bard, Shakespeare. Both Shakespeare memorials were designed by William Kent and sculpted by Peter Scheemakers. The first was created for the nation, to stand in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey; the second was made for the Earls of Pembroke, to stand in Wilton House, Salisbury. Although similar to each other, the differences are striking and meaningful, relating to each other like twins – a key theme of the Shakespeare works and Francis Bacon’s philosophy.
Peter Dawkins Part 1: ‘The Dark Twin’ – The Wilton House Shakespeare Memorial
This is the first of two talks by Peter Dawkins about the two famous 18th century memorials that were created in memory of England’s great Bard, Shakespeare. Both Shakespeare memorials were designed by William Kent and sculpted by Peter Scheemakers. The first was created for the nation, to stand in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey; the second was made for the Earls of Pembroke, to stand in Wilton House, Salisbury. Although similar to each other, the differences are striking and meaningful, relating to each other like twins – a key theme of the Shakespeare works and Francis Bacon’s philosophy. The first talk will be about the Wilton House Shakespeare Memorial; the second, scheduled for March 2017, about the Westminster Abbey Shakespeare Memorial.
The Merry Wife of Wilton
Written by, and in memory of the late actress Susan Sheridan, who was a member of the Francis Bacon Society Council. A reading of the play by her daughters, Emily Stride and Alice Brittain.
It is 1621, Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, niece of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester – the Queen’s favourite; sister of Sir Philip Sidney, reminisces about Life at Wilton House. Her secret circle of writers, the Wilton Academy, included Sir Philip Sidney, his great friend Francis Bacon, Ben Jonson, Spencer and others. The first Folio was dedicated to her sons William and Philip Herbert. This is a world of spies, intrigue, revealing dark secrets of the Virgin Queen, fascinating, poignant and humorous. While some of this play is imagined, all the characters and events are real and many years of research and serious study prompted the creation of this play written by the late Susan Sheridan, MA in Shakespeare Authorship Studies.
Francis Bacon’s Magic and the Universal Principle of Gravitation (Xiaona Wang edit)
An edited version of the full talk below, with highlights of Xiaona Wang’s remarkable discovery of Francis Bacon’s contribution to Newton’s Universal Principle of Gravitation
Francis Bacon’s Magic and the Universal Principle of Gravitation
Isaac Newton’s Universal Principle of Gravitation—which showed that the same force of attraction was responsible for the fall of an apple to the Earth, and for keeping the planets in their orbits around the Sun—did not simply spring to Newton’s mind in a dazzling moment of genius. In fact, Newton’s brilliant idea was the culminating point of a long series of speculations beginning with new theories of magnetism developed by Queen Elizabeth I’s personal physician, William Gilbert (1544-1603). The usual story, told by historians of science, is that the move from magnetic attraction to gravitational attraction was brought about after Gilbert by thinkers like Christopher Wren (1632-1723), Robert Hooke (1635-1703), and ending with Newton (1642-1727). But Xiaona Wang has now discovered the previously unnoticed crucial role of Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Gilbert and Bacon were both magical thinkers at the Court of Queen Elizabeth, but they were magical thinkers of very different kinds. Bacon’s magical beliefs were closer to the later magical beliefs of Newton, and were essential in leading to the universal principle of gravitation. In this talk, John and Xiaona will explain why and how.
The Poetry of Francis Bacon
A talk by Elizabeth Crofts, based on the work of Elizabeth and Mary Brameld One of the points often raised by orthodox Stratfordians in discussing Shakespearean authorship is that the style of writing shows that Shakespeare was a poet. Francis Bacon, they argue, was only a prose-writer and therefore incapable of writing poetry. Of course many other reasons are given for disbelieving that Bacon could have written the Plays, but this talk will concentrate on this particular aspect and examine it more fully. Elizabeth Crofts has been a member of the Francis Bacon Society for over 15 years and a student of Shakespeare for many more years. She is particularly interested in the close study of the language and of the deeper meaning in the plays, and the relationship of Shakespeare’s poetry of to these aspects. This talk is based on research by Mary and Elizabeth Brameld for the Francis Bacon Society’s journal, Baconiana.
Mrs Henry Pott
The evidence from Constance Pott, founder of the Francis Bacon Society 1886.
‘‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer’. That was delicious! I being then about 9 years old… read that first Essay of Truth… I was thenceforward a Baconian.’
So said Constance Fearon, later Mrs Henry Pott, inspiration for the founding of the Francis Bacon Society in 1886. And when the Society became, ‘so formal and proper that it has lost all sociability’, she proceeded to found a second Bacon Society in 1905. Mrs Pott had 11 children, and in the words of one Baconiana editor: ‘she even managed to have her first born on Francis Bacon’s birthday’! The talk, given by Society Chairman Susan McIlroy, encompasses a selection from Mrs Pott’s impressive output: her publication of Bacon’s Promus of Formularies and Elegancies, her books, ‘Did Francis Bacon Write Shakespeare?’, and ‘Francis Bacon and his Secret Society’, and excerpts from her private letters, papers and Baconiana articles.
The New Atlantis: a dramatic reading
Francis Bacon’s ‘The New Atlantis’ read by professional actors Briony Rawle, Robert Madeley and Charlie Ryall at the Annual General Meeting of the Francis Bacon Society, September 2015
The Novum Organum and Advancement of Learning as the Foundation of English Critical Thought in the 17th Century (Part 2)
The concluding part of the talk below.
The Novum Organum and Advancement of Learning as the Foundation of English Critical Thought in the 17th Century (Part 1)
The first part of a talk given by Dr Colum Hayward to the Francis Bacon Society in July 2015. The talk investigates the way Baconian thought continued into the seventeenth century and its association with Platonism, while unscrambling a group of Oxford-based ‘Baconians’ who set about to ‘examine and refine’ the ‘grosser propositions’ of contemporary thought.
’When Shall We Laugh, Say When?’’ Francis Bacon and the Merchant of Venice by Simon Miles (Part Two)
The concluding part of Simon Miles’ talk
’When Shall We Laugh, Say When?’’ Francis Bacon and the Merchant of Venice by Simon Miles (Part One)
A talk given by Simon Miles to the Francis Bacon Society in March 2015. In this talk, Simon Miles explores the historical background and literary sources of The Merchant of Venice, and presents surprising new evidence pointing to Francis Bacon’s authorship of the play. It follows on from an earlier talk he gave to the Society in 2009, in which he discussed the events surrounding the Affair of the Dutch Churchyard Libel in 1593, and their connection to the first emergence of the names Marlowe and Shakespeare in relation to writing and the theatre.