THE STORY OF A FAMOUS BOOK: An Account OF DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

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1871
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Page 13 - DEAR SON: I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors. You may remember the inquiries I made among the remains of my relations when you were with me in England, and the journey I undertook for that purpose.
Page 6 - The sketch was begun for the gratification of his" own family, and intended for them alone, but afterwards it took a wider scope, and was evidently meant for publication. It was not until 1784 that he resumed work upon it, and in the mean time it had been shown to some of his friends. Three of them in particular — Benjamin Vaughn, Abel James, and M. Le Veillard — made strong appeals to him to go on with it. Mr. Vaughn's letter urging him to do so is dated January 31, 1783, and had considerable...
Page 6 - ... August, 1788, while Franklin was at home in Philadelphia, and is brought down to 1757. This portion ends the Autobiography, as it is always printed, except in the edition of the Hon. John Bigelow, which we shall have occasion to notice before the close of this article. Franklin writes to Mr. Vaughn : "To shorten the work, as well as for other reasons, I omit all facts and transactions that may not have a tendency to benefit the young reader, by showing him, from my example, and my success in...
Page 9 - ... Franklin's grandson, William Temple Franklin, published his grandfather's Works in London, in 1817. Even since then it has passed through many editions, though it was in a great measure superseded by that work, which had the apparent stamp of authority, and was considered the genuine Autobiography. It is, in fact, an English translation from a French translation of the original English. It has never to our knowledge fallen to the lot of any book to pass through such a series of changes as happened...
Page 6 - ... 1783, and had considerable influence on his taking up again the story of his life, which he did the next year. The second part of his memoirs, written while he was living at Passy, near Paris, is short, and made up mainly of his ideas on the philosophy of life, rather than the recital of events.* The third part was begun in August, 1788, while Franklin was at home in Philadelphia, and is brought down to 1757. This portion ends the Autobiography, as it is always printed, except in the edition...
Page 5 - IT is now eighty years since the death of Dr. Franklin, and during this time his Autobiography has been more extensively read in this country than any other historical work. It was, perhaps, the earliest American book that acquired and sustained a great popularity.
Page 13 - ... are no less than five editions in French, all distinct and different translations. The first one which has been spoken of appeared in 1791. This brought Franklin's life down to 1730, being that portion of the Autobiography which was written in 1771. The next edition was the one translated by Castora, and published in 1798, with other papers of Franklin in two volumes.
Page 9 - ... Creek for Cooper's Creek, near Philadelphia, where Franklin passed a night with his companions on his first visit to the city. The translator of Parsons's edition speaks of a " school of natation/' which is an expression that an Anglo-Saxon would hardly use. He also makes a singular blunder in calling one of the ballads that Franklin wrote in his boyhood the " Tragedy of Pharaoh." None would recognize under this title the little song which was known as
Page 3 - A small edition is now reprinted, with the consent of the publishers of that magazine, for a few friends of the writer. 1871. THE STOEY OF A FAMOUS BOOK.

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