The Autobiography and Other Writings

Front Cover
Penguin Publishing Group, Apr 29, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
Benjamin Franklin's writings represent a long career of literary, scientific and political efforts over a lifetime which extended nearly the entire eighteenth century. This volume includes Franklin's reflections on such diverse questions as philosophy and religion, social status, electricity, American national characteristics, war, and the status of women. Nearly sixty years separate the earliest writings from the latest, an interval during which Franklin was continually balancing between the puritan values of his upbringing and the modern American world to which his career served as prologue.

This edition provides a new text of the Autobiography, established with close reference to Franklin's original manuscript. It also includes a new transcription of the 1726 journal and several pieces which have recently been identified as Franklin's own work.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About the author (2003)

One of 17 children, Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He ended his formal education at the age of 10 and began working as an apprentice at a newspaper. Running away to Philadelphia at 17, he worked for a printer, later opening his own print shop. Franklin was a man of many talents and interests. As a writer, he published a colonial newspaper and the well-known Poor Richard's Almanack, which contains his famous maxims. He authored many political and economic works, such as The Way To Wealth and Journal of the Negotiations for Peace. He is responsible for many inventions, including the Franklin stove and bifocal eyeglasses. He conducted scientific experiments, proving in one of his most famous ones that lightning and electricity were the same. As a politically active citizen, he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and lobbied for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. He also served as ambassador to France. He died in April of 1790 at the age of 84.