Wise, witty, and immensely readable, these short but thought-provoking discourses examine life, death, and everything in between: truth, adversity, love, superstition, health, ambition, fame, and many other timeless topics. Francis Bacon—renowned as a scientist, scholar, and statesman—regarded the world as a puzzle to be solved. During the transition between the Renaissance and the early modern era, his methods of inductive reasoning exercised an enormous influence on seventeenth-century Europe. In these essays, Bacon effectively applied his scientific approach of observation and interpretation to human behavior.Bacon originally intended the essays as personal notes, to be shared only with a few friends. He was persuaded to publish an initial installment in 1597, and the volume's continuing popularity led to his revised and enlarged version of 1625. This edition features all 58 essays of the later version, offering a splendid combination of style and substance.