The Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin
Arion Press – Limited Edition, 15 of 400
Full Leather Binding
Commonly known as The Autobiography, the Arion Press edition has been published in celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth. It is being published here under the title Franklin himself used in referring to his manuscript. Unpublished at the time of his death, it has since become the most widely read memoir of all time. In the Arion Press edition, this classic is letterpress printed from a new digital typeface with historical relevance for Franklin and the American Revolution.
Franklin’s Memoirs present with vividness the key episodes in a young man’s rise, from poor apprentice to prominent citizen. Its unifying theme is the lessons in behavior and morality he learns along the way. It has been accurately described as a conduct book, but it is a greatly entertaining one. The Memoirs bring Franklin the writer to life for the modern reader, as a storyteller of genius, who chooses just the right moment to laugh at himself.
This edition marks the first use of an historic American typeface, Binny & Ronaldson's Roman No. 1 (c. 1800), as recreated in digital form by Arion Press and named Aitken for Robert Aitken, the famous printer during the Revolution, and his daughter Jane Aitken, printer of the first American translation of the Bible (1808).
The book consists of 188 pages. The format is octavo, 9 by 6.5 inches. The paper is Somerset Book, an all-cotton fiber English mouldmade paper. The frontispiece portrait of Franklin is adapted from the $100 bill, enlarged as required by law. The portrait and type are printed from photopolymer plates by letterpress. The binding is of full brown goatskin with gold titling on the spine and an oval silhouette of Franklin in profile, adapted from the postage stamp, on the front cover.
Edition and Price
The edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale and twenty-six lettered copies hors de commerce. This is number 15 of 400. The price at time of publications was $600. The book sold out immediately upon release.
The book is in FINE condition with no notable flaws. There are no bookplates or signs of previous ownership. Photographs of the binding, the limitation page, and some of the contents of the book appear in the photo section of the listing.
About the Arion Press
Since its inception in 1974, the Arion Press has published 81 deluxe limited editions that are breathtaking in their scope and artistry. Combining notable literature illustrated with original artwork from prominent artists, Andrew Hoyem and his team at the Arion Press have carried on the tradition of the livre d’artiste in spectacular fashion. Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times put it best when he wrote, "The Arion Press produces some of the most beautiful limited-edition, hand printed books in the world.