"The scholarship is sound and the collection is full of good sense, as befits its subject."—Eighteenth-Century StudiesBenjamin Franklin is the model American of an America that we have created. But if we can go beyond our preconceptions of Franklin and the 1776 and 1976 image of America, we can learn something of the truth, as well as the art, of his writings. The essays in this volume evaluate Franklin as a printer, publicist, and travel writer; they probe the structure, style, and organization of his most famous literary works, and assess his place in intellectual history. Taken together, the essays provide an overview of Franklin's attitude, purpose, and significance as a man and as a writer for his own time and for ours; taken separately, they provide valuable insights into what Franklin was and wrote. The first group of essays deals with Franklin's life. The second group of essays treats Franklin as a writer. The last two essays concern Franklins reputation and influence.
J. A. Leo Lemay (1935-2006) was H. F. du Pont Winterthur Professor of English at the University of Delaware. He wrote extensively on early American literature and is the author or editor of numerous books, including The American Dream of Captain John Smith.