Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Poor Richard's Women by Nancy Rubin Stuart
Add Poor Richard's Women to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Poor Richard's Women by Nancy Rubin Stuart
Paperback $18.95
Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780807008126

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780807008126

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9780807011300

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9780807011409

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“An engrossing look at the human side of Benjamin Franklin . . . Using a post-feminist lens that’s critical of gender essentialism, Stuart rescues these women from obscurity . . . This is a terrific read: poignant, provocative, and probing.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“This readable, well-researched book will appeal to those interested in the unruly intimate life of archrationalist Franklin as well as students of the too-often-ignored roles of women in the historical record. A revealing document about early American history.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A fresh perspective on Benjamin Franklin in this revealing study of his relationships with women . . . Stuart paints a nuanced portrait of Deborah and the other women in Franklin’s life, briskly recounts the highlights of his long and varied career, and incisively analyzes the era’s gender dynamics. American history buffs will be fascinated.”
Publishers Weekly

“Stuart has an engaging style and weaves in significant historical context. Readers will encounter illegitimate offspring, broken engagements, long silences, suspicious gifts, eighteenth-century social conventions, and unique and compelling women.”

Poor Richard’s Women add[s] nuance and context to the life of a man who appears to have valued the intellectual capabilities and wit of women while also being confounded by them.”
Old Colony Memorial

“A delightful addition to biographies and bookshelves everywhere.”
Colonial Review

Poor Richard’s Women is a thoughtful and probing look at the love life of one of our most prominent founding fathers. Stuart’s impeccable research and   entertaining writing provide an eminently satisfying read that is both illuminating and balanced without falling prey to the salacious gossip of the day that ensnared other historians.”
Providence Journal

“Ben Franklin, our enigmatic founding father, continues to fascinate, and in Poor Richard’s Women, Nancy Rubin Stuart gives the women in his life their due, showing them as real persons, with both limitations and achievements, rather than the pathetic, laughable figures so often described in books about him. Poor Richard’s Women is a treat for anyone interested in women of his time or Ben himself.”
—Betty Boyd Caroli, author of Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President

“Nancy Rubin Stuart highlights a side of Ben Franklin too often ignored by historians. . . . Stuart uncovers a man often dependent upon women’s care and support, a man eager to be loved, and a man driven by passions as much as by politics and science. Poor Richard’s Women fills in the blanks of the life we’ve known this founding father to live and provides a necessary reminder that the women who came into his life are as deserving of our attention as Ben himself.”
—Carol Berkin, author of Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence

Poor Richard’s Women is narrative history at its best, as it offers compelling insights into the character of Benjamin Franklin. Nancy Rubin Stuart rescues Franklin’s women from the margins, making them central to our understanding of a man who fought a never-ending internal battle between ‘prudence and passion.’ Engaging and fascinating, Poor Richard’s Women is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the man they thought they knew.”
—Sheila Skemp, author of The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit

“[A] fascinating and fast-paced new look at the life of Benjamin Franklin, as told through the colorful prism of the women around him. Nancy Rubin Stuart explores his longest relationships, his fleeting infatuations, and everything in between. She shines a fresh light on old Ben while giving us a new appreciation for the women, who live and breathe in these pages as they haven’t since the eighteenth century. A refreshing read.”
—William Martin, author of Citizen Washington and December ’41

Table Of Contents


“A Most Awkward Ridiculous Appearance”

“A Man and Not an Angel”

“Like a Faithful Pair of Doves”

“In the Dark, All Cats Are Grey”

“Kisses in the Wind”

The Ghost Wife

Home, But Not in His Heart

“One Continued State of Suspense”

“How I Long to See You”

“I Desire That You May Love Me Forever”

“By the Way, What Did You Do to That Shoulder?”

“Prudence Is Not Your Strongest Point”

“As Long As We Will Exist You Will Not Be Abandoned”

“We Are Apt to Forget That We Are Grown Old”


Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Nancy Rubin Stuart
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top