Talk:Novum Organum/Preface (Spedding)

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Reference source: The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. by Spedding, Ellis and Heath, vol. 4 (London: Longmans, 1870).

There is a version of unknown provenance posted several places online, including http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm. It is based not on the original fifteen-volume London edition published by Longmans but on the later fourteen-volume edition published in Boston by Brown and Taggard (both edited by Spedding, Elllis and Heath). For the Boston edition, in order to comform to American usage, various changes were made to spelling (such as "honor" for "honour"), punctuation, and phrasing (such as "champing at the bit" for "champing the bit"). The text was also reset and rearranged. In the London edition, the translation to Novum Organum appears in volume 4, in volume 8 in the Boston. The London edition is nominally the standard for scholarly citation, but some confusion has been caused by the popularity of a 1969 reprint of the Boston edition and a mistaken but common assumption that the Boston edition was just a reprint of the London.

For the text here on Wikisource, I started with the OCRed text of the 1883 printing of the London edition available at Internet Archive (#15843) and then fixed many problems by spell-checking, perusing for errors, and searching for repeats of errors discovered, using an Elibron Classics photographic reprint of the 1870 first London edition as the governing authority.

I then DIFFed the text against the Americanized version posted at www.constitution.org. Discrepancies that were not just differences between American and English punctuation or spelling were then checked against the 1870 reprint. Because of the independent provenance of the two text files, it is highly unlikely that an OCR or scanning error (in either text) would go undetected by this DIFF. --Mccaskey 18:04, 18 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]