5 April 2016
FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Mémoires de la vie privée, écrits par lui-meme...suivis d'un précis historique de sa vie politique, et de plusiers pièces, relatives à ce pére de la liberté. Paris: Chez Buisson, 1791.
2 parts in one volume, 8° (195 x 121 mm). Title-page with small floral device. Contemporary mottled calf (rebacked preserving original spine).
FIRST EDITION in any language of the first portion of this classic American autobiography, covering the first 25 years of Franklin's life, up to his marriage, establishment as a printer in Philadelphia, and founding of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Franklin began the account for his son in 1771, but set it aside, only resuming work on it in 1784 and 1788-1789. The present unauthorized edition appeared the year after Franklin's death. The entire second part is devoted to assorted anecdotes of and writings by Franklin, including his famed obituary verses ("Le corps de Benjamin Franklin, imprimeur...") on page 110 and, at p.175, "La Science de Bonhomme Richard" ['The Way to Wealth'] translated from Poor Richard's Almanack for 1758. Grolier American 21 ("the most widely read of all American autobiographies...holds the essence of the American way of life"); Howes F-323 ("aa"); Sabin 25573.
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