“The Authenticity of Bacon’s Earliest Writings”

Vickers, B. “The Authenticity of Bacon’s Earliest Writings.” Studies in Philosophy 94, no. 2 (Spring 1997).

First Paragraph: “One interesting development in recent studies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has been the recognition that, despite the irreversible spread of printing, manuscripts continued to play an important role in the creation and circulation of literature.  we are increasingly aware that writers, both male and female, valued manuscrit circulation as a way of controlling the readership of their compositions, restricting it to a select audience.  In some cases this could be motivated by the desire to avoid what has been called “the stigma of print,” preserving the gentlemanly or ladylike statues of an amateur, rather than appearing in the public arena on the same level as professional writers, who used their pens to ear their living.  In other cases, manuscript circulation could be chose as a way of testing opinion on controversial issues, an author allowing a tract to circulating among those close to the centers of power and government, while preserving the freedom to disclaim authorship should it prove contentious.”