Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography (1257 words)

Alberto Lena (University of Exeter)
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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 …

Citation: Lena, Alberto. "Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 December 2002 [, accessed 28 October 2021.]

6475 Autobiography 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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