Susan Albert's Reviews > Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

Book of Ages by Jill Lepore
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
967151
's review
Mar 26, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: biographical-novel, history, lifebased-fiction

I loved this book. It's unique in its juxtaposition of the lives of an unknown 18th-century woman, Jane Franklin Mecom and her universally-known and admired brother, Benjamin Franklin. The one illuminates the other, and both illuminate colonial America in a way I haven't understood it before. From recipes for soap (wax myrtle?) to the travails of childbirth and child rearing, the difficulties in getting from here to there safely, and even sending and receiving letters--BOOK OF AGES is enormously informative. It gave me a glimpse of Benjamin Franklin as a real person (as opposed to the image he wanted us to have),and a long look into the life of a woman who was essentially real, who gave no thought to image.

What impresses me most about the book: the importance of reading and writing in Jane's life, and her longing for time and opportunity to read and write more. "I read as much as I dare," Jane once wrote to her brother. I've been a reader all my life. But reading this book, I am challenged to dare even more.
4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Book of Ages.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

March 26, 2015 – Started Reading
March 26, 2015 – Shelved
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: biographical-novel
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: history
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: lifebased-fiction
March 27, 2015 –
page 50
11.31% "Fascinating study of an unknown 18th woman's life, work, set against accomplishments of her famous brother. For readers who cherish detail, deep reading"
March 28, 2015 –
page 77
17.42% "Fascinating study of an unknown 18th woman's life, work, set against accomplishments of her famous brother. For readers who cherish detail, deep reading. After you've read 1 or 2 chapters, I suggest reading "Methods & Sources," to understand her mix of facts & fictions"
March 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Mary I agree with you about this book, Susan. The value and importance of reading in Jane's life was striking. It is not a book everyone will finish or enjoy; only one other person in my book club finished it. I thought Ms. Lepore's research was excellent. My favorite line from the book was an 18th century admonition: "Beware the woman who reads!"


back to top