Paris. 1773. Two volumes. ,xxiv,338,,xvi,318,pp., plus twelve plates and frontispiece portrait. Quarto. Half titles. Contemporary mottled calf, spines elaborately gilt, gilt leather labels. Minor wear to extremities, light wear to joints. 19th century Russian library bookplate on front pastedowns, occasional mild foxing. Very good. Item #WRCAM53208
The first French edition of Franklin's complete works on electricity, based on the fourth and best British edition, combined with the first French editions of a number of other works of Franklin's, including some published for the first time in book form in the present volume. An earlier edition of the electricity section, with about half the material, was published in 1752; the present first section includes all the material in the comprehensive fourth edition in English, published in London in 1769. The first volume is devoted entirely to electricity, with the addition of several pieces not included in any previous editions. The second volume contains other scientific writings, including works on meteors, his improvements on chimneys (the "Franklin stove"), sections on population increase, inoculation, music, the "magic circles", and other topics. This edition was translated by Jacques Barbeu Dubourg, a leading philosopher and one of Franklin's closest friends in France. This copy contains the portrait of Franklin not found in all copies. Scarce, and important for its various contents. FORD 315.