Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
0111200211-Franklin.jpg Benjamin Franklin (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Benjamin Franklin excelled in a dazzling variety of literary forms. He initiated the United States’ first successful periodical series, the “Dogood Papers”; he wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanack, an annual compilation of weather predictions, jokes, tales, proverbs, and miscellaneous materials; he published numerous scientific papers, such as the description of his famous kite experiment which identified lightning as a form of electricity; he wrote piercing satires such as the delightful “The Sale of the Hessians” and brilliant bagatelles such as “The Ephemera”; and the most important of his many political efforts may have been his editorial contributions to the Declaration of Independence and to the United States Constitution. At the end of his life, he produced one of the most popular, most widely praised, and most influential autobiographies in world literature.