Enfilade

New Book | Benjamin Franklin in London

Posted in books by Editor on February 19, 2016

From Yale UP:

George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 400 pages, ISBN: 978-0300220247, $32.50.

coverFor more than one-fifth of his life, Benjamin Franklin lived in London. He dined with prime ministers, members of parliament, even kings, as well as with Britain’s most esteemed intellectuals—including David Hume, Joseph Priestley, and Erasmus Darwin—and with more notorious individuals, such as Francis Dashwood and James Boswell. Having spent eighteen formative months in England as a young man, Franklin returned in 1757 as a colonial representative during the Seven Years’ War, and left abruptly just prior to the outbreak of America’s War of Independence, barely escaping his impending arrest.

In this fascinating history, George Goodwin gives a colorful account of Franklin’s British years.  The author offers a rich and revealing portrait of one of the most remarkable figures in U.S. history, effectively disputing the commonly held perception of Franklin as an outsider in British politics. It is an enthralling study of an American patriot who was a fiercely loyal British citizen for most of his life—until forces he had sought and failed to control finally made him a reluctant revolutionary at the age of sixty-nine.

George Goodwin is the author of numerous articles and two previous histories, Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 and Fatal Rivalry: Henry VIII, James IV, and the Battle for Renaissance Britain. He is currently Author in Residence at the Benjamin Franklin House in London and was a 2014 International Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello. He lives close to London’s Kew Gardens.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

C O N T E N T S

Prologue

Life Before London
A Young Man in London
Foundations
Conductor
Return to London
A London Life
Benjamin Franklins British Family
Moves and Countermoves
Intermission
The Stamp Act
Pivotal Years
12 Home Comforts and Discomforts
Seeking Balance
Movements
Drawn to the Cockpit
The Last Year in London
A Little Revenge

Selected Places to Visit and Related Organizations
Bibliography
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index

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