The Winding Stair
Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall
Publication Date: May 2006
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All rising to great place is by a winding stair,” wrote Sir Francis Bacon. It wasn’t until he was 45 that Bacon’s feet found the first step on that staircase, when King James I made him Solicitor-General, from where he rose through the ranks to become Lord Chancellor. Many accounts of the life of Sir Francis Bacon have been written for scholars, but du Maurier’s aim was to paint a vivid portrait of this remarkable man for the common reader. In The Winding Stair, she illuminates the considerable achievements of this Renaissance man as a writer, lawyer, philosopher, scientist, and politician. Dame Daphne du Maurier wrote more than 25 acclaimed novels, short stories, and plays, including Rebecca and The House on the Strand. She was also a passionate and skillful biographer.
Patrick McGrath was born in London in 1950. His works include "Blood and Water and Other Tales," "The Grotesque," "Spider," "Dr. Haggard's Disease," "Asylum" (which was short-listed for the 1996 "Guardian" Fiction Prize and made into a feature film), "Martha Peake," and "Port Mungo," His most recent novel is "Trauma" (April 2008). He lives in London and New York with his wife, Maria Aitken.