Throughly interesting and extensively researched book about Jane and her brother Benjamin Franklin mostly through their correspondence over a life time. It's a little like going back in time esp if you live in Boston. There were so many interesting facts about the Revolutionary war and life in general during the mid to late 1700s. The size of the families and associated name changes did make it difficult to follow at times (unavoidable). I focused mainly on Jane and here life as reported. Even though she wasn't famous she she had a wonderful personality and it was a joy getting to know her.
Book of Ages drew mixed reviews from the book club. While readers enjoyed learning more about the history of the times, the information about Jane herself was fairly thin. Many readers rued the loss of the art of letter writing.
While I agree that this book is well researched I became irritable reading it due to the obvious and frequent vitriol expressed towards Ben ... for me a very negative-sounding "voice" of the author. She says early on that there isn't much preserved on Jane, but she tells her story through what she [Jane] "must have felt" about her brother. And Lepore obviously does not like him!
In the end, I had to stop reading it.
2014 Plutarch Award for Best Biography- Finalist
I agree with all the previous comments in praising this book. It explains the conditions during the years of the American colonies and the founding of our country from the point of view of a person who lived it rather than just dry facts and dates.
"Wholly different" is a just clause to describe Jane Franklin and her biography...Jill Lepore had a job on her hands writing (As all historians do) a biography of her, and she attained an astonishingly good work. Jane Franklin was one of the many amazing people of the ages. This does justice, not just to Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Samuel Adams but to the pedestrians. That might have done a lot, had they be given the chance. They DO deserve to be recognized. This provides an interesting look.
Reader-Take my word for it and do read this book.
I was amazed how much information the author had researched on Jane. I had read a book about Franklin and wondered what Jane must have thought about his flirtations.
This is a wonderful book, one of the best I ever read. Part biography of Jane, part biography of Ben, part history, part novel -- a wonderful mix of all. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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