An invaluable chronicle of a true Renaissance man and a wholly unconventional human being
The only person to sign all four major documents of the founding of the United States-the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Treaty Alliance with France, and the Treaty of Peace with England-Benjamin Franklin preferred to be known only as a printer. Begun as a collection of anecdotes for his son, The Autobiography distils the complex and passionate intellectual strivings of Franklin's life as a famed scientist, inventor, statesman, legislator, and diplomat into a persona extolling endless industry and sober virtue.
This edition also gathers together fascinating selections from Franklin's essays and letters that reveal the full range of his prodigious talents, including 'The Way to Wealth,' 'The Kite Experiments,' and 'Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress.'
Edited with an Introduction by KENNETH SILVERMAN
About The Author
Benjamin Franklin, statesman, philosopher, and man of letters, was born in Boston in 1706 of Protestant parents. He entered Boston Grammar School when he was eight and later attended George Brown Ell’s school. When he was twelve his father apprenticed him to his half-brother James as a printer. James was later the publisher of the New England Courant, where Franklin’s first articles, The Dogood Papers, were published before he was seventeen.
He went to Philadelphia in 1723 and pursued his trade of printer. He was befriended by William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, who offered to help the young man get started in business. Franklin left for England, where he hoped to arrange for the purchase of printing equipment. Arriving in London in 1724, he was soon deserted by Keith, and again turned to printing for a livelihood. His privately printed Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain (1725) introduced him to leading Deists and other intellectuals in London. A year later, he returned to Philadelphia, and by 1730 he had been appointed public printer for Pennsylvania.
In 1731 he established the first circulation library in the United States; in 1743-44, The American Philosophical Society. In 1748 he retired from the trade of printer but continued to advise and back his partner and to draw profit from the business.
Poor Richard’s Almanack was his most spectacular success as a publisher, having gone through numerous editions and been translated in many languages. During the next thirty-five years he devoted himself largely to politics and diplomacy, but still wrote and engaged in scientific ventures. He resigned as Minister to France in 1785, returned to America, and was elected President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Still concerned with the rights of the individual, he published papers encouraging the abolition of slavery. He died in Philadelphia in 1790.
|Editorial Note||p. 9|
|Two Letters||p. 133|
|Franklin's Outline||p. 267|
|Biographical Notes||p. 273|
|Franklin Chronology||p. 303|
|Selected Bibliography||p. 323|
|Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 27th May 2003
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.7 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 20.0