Paris: chez Quillau l'aine, Libraire [et. al.], 1773. First edition in French. Traduites de l'Anglois sur la Quatrieme Edition par M. Barbeu Dubourg. Avec des Additions Nouvelles et des Figures en Taille douce. Frontis. portrait of Benjamin Franklin by F.N. Martinet. Two volumes in one, each with a half-title and title page. 4to. , xxii, , 338, [one signature bound out of order, pp. 329-336, and following the plates); , xiii, , 318, , plus 12 engraved plates. Two minor mistakes in pagination: in vol. 1, page 279 is misnumbered 276; in vol. 2, page 281 is misnumbered 284, but all text present. Bound in contemporary French mottled calf, spine richly gilt, raised bands, gilt stamped red morocco spine label, all page edges red. Chipping to spine, front and rear joints starting; rubbing and wear to boards; some scattered foxing to text, but plates are clean, bright. Item #62273
The French translator Barbeu Dubourg, a friend and correspondent of Franklin's, based his translation on the fourth edition of Franklin's "Experiments and Observations in Electricity made at Philadelphia in America," published in London in 1769, "but Dubourg included a mass of materials not found in this edition. His work, therefore, represented the most complete collection of Franklin writings printed to that time. The first volume contains documents concerning Franklin's electrical experiments; the second volume, material on economic, political and miscellaneous subjects." [see: "Franklin and his Contemporaries," by A.O. Aldridge, (NYU Press: 1957), p. 40].