The most frequently read book in the library that Samuel Pepys began to collect about 1660 was a volume he called ‘my dear “Faber Fortunae”, of my Lord Bacon's'. This book, which he apparently read through six times between 1661 and 1666, has been identified as an edition of Bacon's essays in Latin translation which was published and reprinted in duodecimo at Leyden in 1641, 1644, and 1659.
The question of the identity of this work by Bacon was first raised by correspondents of Notes & Queries in 1886, but it was not resolved. Despite the importance of this much read book to young Pepys and to our understanding of him, only three of his eight biographers have so much as mentioned the work. None has identified it sufficiently to discuss it.