- The Oxford Handbook of: Early American Literature
- The Literature of Exploration
- Captain John Smith
- Promotion Literature
- Puritan Historians and Historiography
- New England Poetry
- Captivity Literature
- Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening
- Augustan American Verse
- Picaresque Travel Narratives
- Dr. Alexander Hamilton
- Indian Voices in Early American Literature
- Scientific Discourse
- Newspapers and Magazines
- Print and Manuscript Culture
- Early American Libraries
- Early American Autobiography
- Early American Slave Narratives
- Benjamin Franklin
- Early American Drama
- The Literature of Politics
- Revolutionary Verse
- The Beginnings of the American Novel
- Crèvecoeur's <i>Letters from an American Farmer</i>
- History as Literature
- The Place of Natural History in Early American Literature
Abstract and Keywords
The life, works, and contribution of Benjamin Franklin is the focus of this article. Sailing for England in 1724 aboard the London Hope two months prior to his nineteenth birthday, Benjamin Franklin looked forward to seeing London, where he planned to acquire a printing press. Once in England, Franklin discovered that there were no letters and no patrons. He started working for a printing press and started writing. He wrote and printed A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity (1725), a pamphlet taking issue with William Wollaston's Religion of Nature Delineated (1722). Franklin repudiated the ideas he expressed in the Dissertation in an essay entitled “On the Providence of God in the Government of the World” (1732), but the Dissertation remains important in terms of his biography. This article further discusses several other compositions of Franklin and the impact such writings had on society at large.
Kevin J. Hayes , Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, is the author of Stephen Crane, which forms part of the Writers and Their Work series published by Northcote House in association with the British Council. He is the editor of the Bedford edition of Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and of Henry James: The Contemporary Reviews. For six years, he served as Bibliography Editor for Documentary Editing. For his work, the Association for Documentary Editing presented him with its Distinguished Service Award.
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