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"An Acre Of Middlesex Is Better Than A Principality In Utopia"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The essays of Lord Macaulay, based on wide reading and a memory that seemed never to forget a fact, made him a welcome magazine contributor. His reviews of biographical volumes usually turned out to be more biographies than reviews. He could provide interesting parallels and illustrations. The fact that his knowledge did not extend to art or science and was superficial was not important to his readers. Like them, he judged everything from the viewpoint of a liberal Whig. When asked to review Basil Montagu's sixteen-volume The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England (London: 1825–34), Macaulay substituted for an opinion of the merits of this lengthy work, an essay on Lord Bacon, that was published in the Edinburgh Review, in July, 1837, declaring that while the aim of the philosophy of Plato was to exalt man into a god, something noble, Bacon's philosophic aim was the more obtainable one of supplying man's vulgar (i.e.,...

(The entire section is 319 words.)