Franklin's Autobiography is one of the capital texts of eighteenth century literature. It served to formulate the notion of the American Dream by portraying the United States as a land of opportunity for anyone who wanted to start a new life and break with the past. The work also inspired self-made men such as Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Mellon.
The first appearance of Franklin's Autobiography was in a French translation of 1791, drawn from a manuscript written by Franklin in the 1770s which had been copied by Philadelphia law clerks. This version, translated into English in 1793, lacked Franklin's final revision, and thus offered a rather incomplete and distorted image of him; an impression that would remain …
Lena, Alberto. "Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6475, accessed 29 June 2017.]