Item #1066 Vita di Beniamino Franklin scritta da lui medesimo. Benjamin Franklin.
Vita di Beniamino Franklin scritta da lui medesimo.
Vita di Beniamino Franklin scritta da lui medesimo.
Edited and Translated by the Economist Giovanni Vincenzo Tamassia

Vita di Beniamino Franklin scritta da lui medesimo.

Bergamo: Dalla Stamperia Mazzoleni, 1830. Item #1066

8vo.  195 x 125 mm., [7 ¾ x 5 inches].  xii, 271 pp. Illustrated with a engraved portrait of Franklin by Mazzoleni.  Bound in contemporary half leather binding and corners, marbled paper boards, spine with title label and simple gilt tooling, traces of paper label on spine.  The text with a minor of foxing on a few leaves, otherwise a beautiful genuine specimen.

First edition of this Italian translation of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography edited and translated by the revolutionary politician and Mantuan economist Giovanni Vincenzo Tamassia (1776-1839).  In addition to the life of Franklin, Tamassia includes  the “Continuation of the Life” by Dr. Henry Stuber first published in Columbian Magazine in 1790/91, a translation of the epitaph composed by Franklin and which appears on his grave marker, and  a translation of his last will and testament.

Antonio Pace writes in his book, Franklin in Italy,  that Tamassia translation “remained the standard throughout the Risorgimento and not superseded until after unification by a version prepared by Pitro Rotuni for the Florentine printer, Gasaro Barbéra” (p. 224).  Although not a best seller as some of the earlier editions of Franklin’s works achieved, Tamassia’s translation influenced many of those to follow him, especially for the moral tone which was characteristic of his 1830 translation.

The engraved portrait of Franklin is beautifully executed by Mazzoleni and captures the status of Franklin in the Italian consciousness.  Very content in his disposition, Franklin is floating in the clouds with thunder bolts exploding beneath his portrait.  In the Italian vernacular this image conjures the ascension of Christ or a saints being brought to eternal life.

Antonio Pace. Benjamin Franklin and Italy since the Eighteenth Century, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 94, no. 3 (1950), see no. 125 p. 425.


Price: $1,500.00

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