New Atlantis  By  cover art

New Atlantis

By: Francis Bacon
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong

Publisher's Summary

Sir Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis is a utopian novel about a mythical land called Bensalem, where the inhabitants live happily with the sciences. In The New Atlantis, Bacon focuses on the duty of the state toward science, and his projections for state-sponsored research anticipate many advances in medicine and surgery, meteorology, and machinery. Although The New Atlantis is only a part of his plan for an ideal commonwealth, this work does represent Bacon's ideological beliefs. The inhabitants of Bensalem represent the ideal qualities of Bacon the statesman: generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit. These were the ideal qualities which Bacon wanted to see in 17th-century England.

In The New Atlantis, Bacon breaks from Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient writers by insisting that humans do not need to aspire to fewer desires because the extraordinary advances of science would make it possible to appease bodily desires by providing material things that would satisfy human greed. For Bacon there is no reason to waste time and energy trying to get human beings to rise to a higher moral state. Ultimately, Bacon clearly sees the advances of science as the best way of increasing humanity's control over nature and providing for the comfort and convenience of all people, and England's Royal Society and similar organizations dedicated to scientific progress are generally regarded as embodying Bacon's utopian vision. The utopia of The New Atlantis underscores the idea that science will solve the evils of this world.

Public Domain (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about New Atlantis

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Oxford World Classics

One of the struggles I have with audiobooks is when I purchase an audiobook and have my copy in hand but the written and spoken texts are not identical. So I endeavor in reading to in its review comment on which written text is is from. This version is the Oxford World Classics Three Early Modern Utopias as edited by Susan Bruce.

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To what am I even listening?

I was referred to this book by a contemporary author who espoused that this work was a classic. A title which was widely read in its time, and which discussed a well organized society of intellectualism. After listening the to the entire book, in which the narrator did a great job, I still have no idea the point of this work. It’s a long description of minutia. There is a bare thread plot, and while I’m sure it was quite a work of “adventure “ for its time, I cannot think of a single positive lesson, narrative, nor idea espoused in this work. My apologies that I spent the time!

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a classic

A classic, with a precocious prediction of future human endeavors. Sadly, he did not finish his work.

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  • Ben
  • 11-20-21

Very strange

Although well performed, this isn’t so much a story as it is two chapters followed by a literal laundry list of technologies and sciences that was in Bacon’s time futuristic and today utterly mundane.

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  • T O.
  • 11-13-22

Great narrator, poor book.

Utopian Bacon tries hard. When a philosophy is unsound from the outset it will fall short eventually. We now live in a product of Bacon's thought whether one sees it or not, likes it or not. Like his philosophy it too will fall short. PX

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  • Mowgli
  • 10-18-22

Interesting

A very random choice for me, glad I listened as things like this give a good perspective into minds of the past