POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN, DEBORAH READ FRANKLIN AND THE OTHER WOMEN BEHIND THEIR FOUNDING FATHERS by Nancy Rubin Stuart

POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN, DEBORAH REED FRANKLIN AND THE OTHER WOMEN BEHIND THE FOUNDING FATHER

BEACON PRESS (MARCH, 2002)

224 pages

ISBN: o807011304

 

What a biography for Women’s History Month or any month of any year. Nancy Rubin Stuart gives a scholarly but intimate look into the life of Deborah Franklin who was maligned by most historians because her letters were replete with misspellings and grammatical hiccups. Who knew that women weren’t taught grammar and spelling because back then it didn’t befit their future roles? Ben Franklin never would have been able to accomplish all he did in the world without her. It was Deborah who ran the businesses and household while Franklin was rarely home and having affair after affair.

This is no drudge of a biography. It’s written with such wit. For example, there’s a chapter titled “In the Dark, All Cats are Gray.”

Nancy Stuart Rubin knows how to keep readers reading while filling them with information that they can’t stop telling their friends about. When I chat with friends, POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN seems to fill more of my conversation these days. And friends lean forward, bright-eyed, and ask, “Really?”

Yes, Really.