London: Printed for Henrie Tomes, 1605. First edition. An exceptional, Fine copy with a distinguished provenance. Quarto (pgs. 183 x 140 mm): [Title], 1-45; 1-118; with the typical erratic page numberings. With the final blank; without the 2 leaves of errata found in a very few copies and probably of later issue. Owing to misimposition, text in Dd is printed on the wrong versos (two leaves in Dd slightly shorter). Contemporary limp vellum (modern spine lettering); modern half brown morocco slipcase. Provenance: Ellesmere Library at Bridgewater House (armorial bookplate; bulk of the library acquired en bloc in 1917 by:) -- Henry E. Huntington (Huntington Library duplicate stamp at end).
A precursor to Bacon's masterwork the Instauratio Magna, this book focuses primarily on the classification of philosophy and the sciences. Implicit in the work is the use of the Baconian method, that later becomes the Scientific method as more fully developed in the Instauratio. Because it was first published in English and later translated into Latin, it is considered one of the earliest philosophical works in English. A foundational work of Western thought. Fine (Item #1998)