Mémoires de la Vie Privée de Benjamin Franklin, Écrits Par Lui-Même, et Adressés à Son Fils, Suivis d’un Précis Historique de Sa Vie Politique, et de Plusieurs Pièces, Relatives à Ce Père de la Liberté. [Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin].

“THE MOST WIDELY READ OF ALL AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHIES": TRUE FIRST EDITION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY in the scarce original wrappers

Mémoires de la Vie Privée de Benjamin Franklin, Écrits Par Lui-Même, et Adressés à Son Fils, Suivis d’un Précis Historique de Sa Vie Politique, et de Plusieurs Pièces, Relatives à Ce Père de la Liberté. [Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin].

FRANKLIN, Benjamin.

$6,500.00

Item Number: 124077

A Paris: Chez Buisson, Libraire, 1791.

True first edition of Franklin’s famed autobiography, which preceded the first English edition by two years, in the scarce original wrappers. Octavo, original wrappers, with the original publisher’s paper spine label present. With page 204 misnumbered 360, lacking the three final leaves and rear wrapper. Ownership inscription to the verso of the front wrapper. In very good condition. Exceedingly scarce in the original wrappers.

"The most widely read of all American autobiographies… [Benjamin Franklin's Memoirs] holds the essence of the American way of life" (Grolier American 21). Written between 1771 to 1789, "this account is the epitome of Franklin's spirit. In it one sees him as a typical though great example of 18th-century enlightenment, a Yankee Puritan who could agree with Rousseau and Voltaire, and use the language of Defoe and Addison with a genial homely twang" (Hart, 142). This French translation by Jacques Gibelin constitutes the first appearance of any part of Franklin's autobiography, covering Franklin's life until 1731, the year he founded the Library Company of Philadelphia. It was translated into French from one of the two manuscript copies sent to friends in France for further advice. The first English edition, itself a translation from this French edition, did not appear until 1793, after French, German, and Swedish editions had already been published. The work remains the ultimate treatise on man's ability to better himself, notable for its humorous pragmatism and vivid portrayal of early 18th-century colonial America.

Add to cart Ask a Question SHIPPING & GUARANTEE
Raptis Rare Books | Fine Rare and Antiquarian First Edition Books for Sale