Rare First Edition of The Works of the late Doctor Benjamin Franklin
Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin: Consisting of His Life Written by Himself, Together with Essays, Humorous, Moral & Literary. Chiefly in the Manner of the Spectator.
Item Number: 99344
London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1793.
First editions of the Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin including a first printing of volume II with the three line errata on the verso of page 317. Small octavo, 2 volumes bound into one in full morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments, red morocco spine label, vignette portraits of Franklin to the title pages. In very good condition with light toning to the first few pages. A very sharp example.
Hailed as the "first great American" by historian Frederick Jackson Turner, America's "first philosopher" by David Hume and "one of the most sensible men that ever lived" by Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, in both his life and writings, "held true to a fundamental ideal with unwavering and at times heroic fortitude: a faith in the wisdom of the common citizen" (Isaacson, 478-93). The present volume is "[a] collection of the 'popular' pieces of Franklin, together with a re-translation of the autobiography from the French translation of Gibelin, and Stuber's continuation. The editing was done by Benjamin Vaughan, who has clearly made use of his MS. copy of the autobiography in the re-translation. The work was prepared for publication in 1791, but withheld on account of Temple Franklin's announcement of an edition of his grandfather's writings. An additional volume of Franklin's scientific writings was also announced, but never printed" (Ford).