This interesting piece of science fiction literature from the middle of the 19th century is a bizarre fusion of modernism and sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Akin to any comparable Atlantis-and-Agartha style work, it’s written well enough to be entertaining, and is actually a very good fiction read; but its importance, for occultism, is far greater than its fictional impact.
The author himself was assuredly connected to the spiritual- Blavatsky apparently was familiar with this work, and like other utopian novels it went on to directly inform the spiritualism and new agery of the next half century. This is not surprising, Bulwer-Lytton’s various works also influenced the rise of Victorian gothic works. For those into subterranean fiction, it’s a must-read. For those interested in the works that influenced 20th century occultism, even more so.
This work by Francis Bacon was left incomplete in a fairly obvious nod to Plato, who similarly forsook his own tale of Atlantis mid-sentence, possibly for effect. Bacon’s work here is notable in the occult sense for two basic reasons.
First; the work dwells primarily on the spiritual character of the mythical people of Bensalem and a few of their rites, and might be ascribed as an allusion to how christian society ought to operate much as Plato’s account is often seen as a description of how classical society should do the same in its era.
Second; Bacon speculates on technology and arranges it in such a way that he is almost making a series of predictions of what man would eventually be able to do; on most counts he was not only right but spot on- from the development of smokeless gunpowder and human flight, to advanced optics and microscopy among other things.
The entire work is delivered in such a form that it may be said to have alchemical overtones as well, dwelling on the very same processes of purification (in a mundane sense) that alchemists ascribed to their own practice.