Jane Mecom, the Favorite Sister of Benjamin Franklin: Her Life Here First Fully Narrated from Their Entire Surviving Correspondence

Jane Mecom, the Favorite Sister of Benjamin Franklin: Her Life Here First Fully Narrated from Their Entire Surviving Correspondence

Jane Mecom, the Favorite Sister of Benjamin Franklin: Her Life Here First Fully Narrated from Their Entire Surviving Correspondence

Jane Mecom, the Favorite Sister of Benjamin Franklin: Her Life Here First Fully Narrated from Their Entire Surviving Correspondence

Excerpt

This book is a belated act of justice to a good, valiant, talented, much-enduring, and charming woman who died more than a century and a half ago. In all those years she has had a shadowy existence in the biographies of Benjamin Franklin, identified as his sister Jane, whose married name was Mecom, who lived in Boston, outlived all their brothers and sisters and Franklin himself, received many letters from him, and wrote many to him. The publication at last of their entire surviving correspondence has brought into history one of the finest known records of friendship between a brother and sister. Jane Mecom could have found in the Book she knew best their best epitaph: they were "lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."

The story of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom fills out and enlarges him, and it creates her as a figure that lives with breathing reality. Her story cannot be told without his, for much of what she wrote to him in lost letters now exists only in his replies. But she is the heroine, and this biography of her tells her story as separately as possible, with the light always falling upon her in her early and middle years of tragedy and hardship and in her final years of a triumph and peace she had never dared to expect.

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