The True First Appearance of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

    Benjamin Franklin. Mémoires de la vie privée de Benjamin Franklin, ecrits par lui-meme, et adressés a son fils...Paris: Chez Buisson..., 1791. First edition of Franklin's Autobiography, comprising a French translation of his 1771 manuscript for the years 1706-1731, and a translation from Wilmer's Memoirs of Franklin for the period after 1731. Approximately 7.25 x 4.5 inches. Octavo. [2], vi, 156, 207, [1, blank] pages (pages 204-207 misnumbered 360-363). Contemporary half brown calf over boards, spine ruled in gilt, with tan brown morocco gilt lettering label. Minor wear to binding, some foxing in text, some early ink underlining and small marginal notes throughout. Overall, a near fine copy.

    "The most widely read of all American autobiographies, the gift to adolescents of countless parents, godparents and well-wishers, this book holds the essence of the American way of life..." (Grolier, 100 American). The English edition first appeared in 1793. Ford 383. Grolier, 100 American, 21. Howes F-323. Sabin 25549. Streeter, VII, 4171.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2012
    8th Wednesday
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