Franklin in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates

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Kevin J. Hayes, Isabelle Bour
University of Iowa Press, 2011年5月8日 - 196 頁
In his time Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was the most famous American in the world. Even those personally unacquainted with the man knew him as the author of Poor Richard’s Almanack, as a pioneer in the study of electricity and a major figure in the American Enlightenment, as the creator of such life-changing innovations as the lightning rod and America’s first circulating library, and as a leader of the American Revolution. His friends also knew him as a brilliant conversationalist, a great wit, an intellectual filled with curiosity, and most of all a master anecdotist whose vast store of knowledge complemented his conversational skills. In Franklin in His Own Time, by reprinting the original documents in which those anecdotes occur, Kevin Hayes and Isabelle Bour restore those oft-told stories to their cultural contexts to create a comprehensive narrative of his life and work. The thirty-five recollections gathered in Franklin in His Own Time form an animated, collaborative biography designed to provide a multitude of perspectives on the “First American.” Opening with an account by botanist Peter Kalm showing that Franklin was doing all he could to encourage the development of science in North America, it includes on-the-spot impressions from Daniel Fisher’s diary, the earliest surviving interview with Franklin, recollections from James Madison and Abigail Adams, Manasseh Cutler’s detailed description of the library at Franklin Court, and extracts from Alexander Hamilton’s unvarnished Minutes of the Tuesday Club. Franklin’s political missions to Great Britain and France, where he took full advantage of rich social and intellectual opportunities, are a source of many reminiscences, some published here in new translations. Genuine memories from such old friends as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, as opposed to memories influenced by the Autobiography, clarify Franklin’s reputation. Robert Carr may have been the last remaining person who knew Franklin personally, and thus his recollections are particularly significant. Each entry is introduced by a headnote that places the selection in its historical and cultural contexts; explanatory notes provide information about people and places; and the editors’ comprehensive introduction and chronology detail Franklin’s eventful life. Dozens of lively primary sources published incrementally over more than a hundred years illustrate the complexity of the man, his mind, and his mannerisms in a way that no single biographer could.
 

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內容

Pehr Kalm Speaking about Natural History 1748
1
Daniel Fisher Extracts from the Diary 1755
5
House of Commons The Examination of Doctor Benjamin Franklin 1767
12
Joseph Priestley Science Religion and Politics in London 1769 1795 1802
39
Josiah Quincy Jr Franklin in London 17741775
46
John Adams Franklin as a Congressman and a Diplomat 17751778
52
Abigail Adams Franklin in Boston and Paris 1775 and 1784
68
Philip Gibbes Two Conversations with Benjamin Franklin 17771778
71
In a Letter from an EyeWitness 1790
119
John Jones Short Account of Dr Franklins Last Illness by His Attending Physician 1790
121
Louis Lefebvre de La Roche On Franklin 1800
123
Thomas Jefferson Anecdotes of Doctor Franklin 1818 and 1821
132
William Temple Franklin Anecdotes Relative to Dr Franklin 1818
141
Robert Aspland A Conversation with Franklins London Friends 1821
145
André Morellet Memories of Franklin 1821
147
Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis A Short Account of Benjamin Franklin 1825
153

Arthur Lee Extracts from the Journal 1777
78
William Greene Franklin at Passy 1778
83
John Baynes Franklin at Passy 1783
86
Andrew Ellicott This Venerable Nestor of America 1785
99
Benjamin Rush The Wisdom and Experience of Mellow Old Age 17851789 1805 1806
101
Winthrop Sargent My Dinner with Franklin 1786
108
Manasseh Cutler A Visit to Franklin Court 1787
110
James Madison Franklin during the Constitutional Convention 1787
116
Two Versions 1835 and 1875
169
Deborah Norris Logan Memoir of Dr George Logan of Stenton 1839
174
Robert Carr Personal Recollections of Benjamin Franklin 1864
178
Permissions
183
Works Cited
185
Index
187
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關於作者 (2011)

Kevin J. Hayes is a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma and author of several books, including The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson and The Mind of a Patriot: Patrick Henry and the World of Ideas. With Edwin Wolf 2d, he coauthored The Library of Benjamin Franklin.Isabelle Bour is a professor of eighteenth-century English studies at the Sorbonne. She is the editor of J. G. Lockhart’sThe History of Matthew Wald and M. de La Coste’s Voyage philosophique d’Angleterre and co-translator of Emilie du Châtelet’s Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings, among others.

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