“THINGS WORTH READING… THINGS WORTH THE WRITING”: COLLECTOR’S FEDERAL EDITION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S WORKS, HANDSOMELY BOUND
FRANKLIN, Benjamin. The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence Together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904. Twelve volumes. Large octavo, modern full brown morocco gilt, raised bands, tan morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $7500.
“Collector’s Federal Edition” of the scientific essays, public and private correspodence and the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin—the Revolutionary philosopher, scientist and statesman who “snatched the lightning shaft from heaven and the sceptre from tyrants” (A.R.J. Turgot)—number 182 of 600 of those sets signed and numbered by the publisher (from a total edition of 1000), with tissue-guarded engraved frontispiece portraits of Franklin on vellum in each volume.
"Poor Richard said: 'If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.' Franklin did both… Franklin spent his first 42 years as a tradesman and businessman and his second 42 years as a natural philosopher, public servant and statesman. He was the most practical and perhaps the sanest of all the idealistic visionaries who have committed their lives to doing good for humankind" (ANB). Edited by renowned diplomat and author John Bigelow—the discoverer of the manuscript of Franklin's famous Autobiography, which he printed correctly for the first time in 1868—The Works of Benjamin Franklin (first published 1887-88) "displaced all previous editions in its chronological arrangement and exact reproduction of the original texts" (DAB). Includes the text of more than 350 documents and letters, including correspondence with such key figures in the nation's early history as Washington, Jefferson and Paine. The other 400 sets in this edition were issued as the "Connoisseur's Federal Edition."
A handsome set in fine condition.