Cover: Franklin of Philadelphia, from Harvard University PressCover: Franklin of Philadelphia in PAPERBACK

Franklin of Philadelphia

Add to Cart

Product Details


$34.50 • £27.95 • €31.00

ISBN 9780674318106

Publication Date: 10/15/1988

Academic Trade

442 pages

17 halftones, 1 map, and 4 line illustrations on 12 inserted pages

Belknap Press


Esmond Wright has written the best full-length biography of Franklin since Carl Van Doren’s of nearly fifty years ago; it may in fact be the best yet written. It is certainly the most historical, the one that best sets the man in the circumstances of his time.—Gordon S. Wood, The Times Literary Supplement

The first full-scale life in fifty years, Franklin of Philadelphia is attractively written and penetrating in its judgments. It is also well-proportioned—no small consideration, when you reflect on the range and variety of the material with which Mr. Wright had to deal.—John Gross, The New York Times Book Review

Distinguished, magisterial… Franklin of Philadelphia is an elegantly written, rigorously researched and highly credible biography; the fruits of Wright’s extensive study are evident on every page.—Christopher Rauber, The San Francisco Examiner

A rounded portrait of all the facets of this extremely versatile and talented man… Anyone wishing to penetrate behind the bifocals, into the urbane mind of the first and greatest of the Yankee scientists, cannot do better than to sample this feast of a biography.—Roy Porter, Nature

An account that, offering balanced judgment and genuine, if critical, admiration, demands immediate admission into the front rank of Franklin literature.—Peter Marshall, The Times Higher Education Supplement

In many ways…the best biography of Benjamin Franklin ever. It is beautifully written and full of fascinating comments about personalities and political events… The book is a delight.William & Mary Quarterly

Rich and satisfying… The book unfolds with an efficient sweep, as Wright organizes details into larger patterns. His style is graceful, his language precise.—Elizabeth Johns, Wilson Quarterly

Esmond Wright’s Franklin of Philadelphia is a distinguished biography, well-conceived, beautifully written, and always interesting. Its research is deep and its conclusions fresh and original.—Robert Middlekauff

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, by Sharon T. Strocchia, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Sharon Strocchia, author of Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy

As part of Women’s History Month, we spoke with Sharon T. Strocchia about her new book, Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, which uncovers the crucial role women played in the great transformations of medical science and health care that accompanied the Italian Renaissance. Your research demonstrates that women in Renaissance Italy played a major role in providing health care.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.