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Roger Bacon is a conjuror, scholar and advisor and old friend to the wizard Prospero (The Face in the Frost).

Background

Bacon is a Franciscan monk and spends time in England, with his home base being Dunfathersbairn Abbey in Northern Scotland ("The Dolphin Cross"; Magic Mirrors; 193). There he maintains a small laboratory for practicing with brazen heads (Face, 14) and magic alarm bottles (Dolphin, 192). When Dunfathersbairn’s Abbot reluctantly allows the monk to again travel unto the Northern Kingdom, he asks why Bacon became a monk. Bacon’s reply: “A man has to hang his hat somewhere” (Dolphin, 193).

Through events unrecorded, Bacon met and befriended the wizard Prospero, who lives in the Southern Kingdom of a country's whose name is unknown and unimportant. Bacon's preferred method of travel is seeking passage on fishing boats (Face, 11; Dolphin, 193). At the time of Face, Bacon “had been in the North Kingdom for the last three years, and before that he had in England for three years” (Face, 10).

Personal

Described as having a stout, ruddy-faced, with either a bald spot or a badly trimmed tonsure, Bacon loves good food and drink (perhaps a good Snake-Year Sherry) and is a careful thinker, usually able to keep one step ahead of any foe.

Bacon comes across a more-competent practitioner of enchantments (his ability to transform ordinary garden vegetables into livable horse-drawn coaches) though he does have occasional setbacks, including allowing himself to be temporary captured by Melichus’ henchmen, exorcising a town from the spirit of witch, and an experiment with a hard-of-hearing brass head that nearly got him run out of England (Face, 14).

Inspiration

Bellairs’s version of Bacon is based on some of the more legendary aspects of the real Franciscan monk, Roger Bacon (c. 1214- 1294)

Legacy

Writing in 1973, author Lin Carter said that Bellairs had shared with him “sketchy maps of the South Kingdom and some unpublished scraps, notes, and outlines for...further adventures” and that Bellairs had also produced a prequel, "which tells how his diabolic duo first became friends." The prequel piece was to be included in Carter’s juvenile fantasy anthology Magic Kingdoms but neither Carter's anthology or Bellairs's short story were published.

Bellairs began a followup adventure in the early 1980s. Bacon was briefly seen in chapter four of the unfinished manuscript, "The Dolphin Cross", that was included in Magic Mirrors (2009), an anthology of Bellairs's work published during the 1960s.

Prospero Series
Bellairs Corpus
By John Bellairs
Series
Who's who Prospero | Roger Bacon
What's what
Where's there Southern Kingdom | Northern Kingdom