"Writing has been of Great Use to me in the Course of my Life," Benjamin Franklin said in his famous Autobiography . With characteristically calculated understatement, he attributed his enormous and varied successes to "my having learnt a little to scribble."
This Library of America collection of Franklin's works begins with letters sent from London (1757-1775) describing the events and diplomacy preceding the Revolutionary War. The volume also contains political satires, bagatelles, pamphlets, and letters written in Paris (1776-1785), where he represented the revolutionary United States at the court of Louis XVI, as well as his speeches given in the Constitutional Convention and other works written in Philadelphia (1785-1790), including his last published article, a searing satire against slavery.
Also included are the delightfully shrewd prefaces to Poor Richard's Almanack (1733-1758) and their worldly, pungent maxims that have entered our American culture. Finally, the classic Autobiography , Franklin's last word on his greatest literary creation--his own invented personality--is presented here in a new edition, completely faithful to Franklin's manuscript.
A companion volume includes the complete "Silence Dogood" series, "Busy-Body" essays, and a generous selection of his early writings, including letters to the press, satires, and pamphlets.