- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press & Library Company of Philadelphia & The British Library, 2006.
- 8.5 x 11 inches
- hardcover, dust jacket
- 192 pages
- ISBN: 1584561874
- ISBN: 9781584561873
Price: $49.95 save 40% $29.97 other currencies
Order Nr. 90643
Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer begins by focusing on Franklin's career as a printer, from his apprenticeship to his retirement in 1748, by which time he had created the largest printing business in colonial America. His success as a printer was based not only on his newspaper and the popular almanacs he published but also on his own writings, first for his brother's press in Boston and then for his own press in Philadelphia. Most of his early writing took the form of compiling and editing, as in the case of the proverbs that he collected from a variety of sources for his Poor Richard's Almanack and reused for The Way to Wealth, his most frequently reprinted work.
Much of what we know about Franklin as a writer and printer comes from his autobiography, the focus of the last part of this book. Left unfinished at his death in 1790, the autobiography was known to the world for nearly eighty years only in translations, fragments, paraphrases, and, in English, from retranslations of a 1791 French translation. The posthumous publishing histories of the autobiography and of The Way to Wealth illuminate the transformation of Benjamin Franklin from a youthful printer into the most famous American writer of the eighteenth century.