Book Talk: ‘Poor Richard’s Women’ By Nancy Rubin Stuart

Friday March 17 2023, 5pm BST/12pm ET. Register here.

Join us this Women’s History Month as we talk to Nancy Rubin Stuart about her book ‘Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father’, which reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for 44 years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England. Nancy also shines a light on Ben’s relationship with Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady of 36 Craven Street who managed Ben’s life in London alongside her daughter, Polly.

Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, what emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colourful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author whose nonfiction books focus upon women and social history. These include the acclaimed POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN; Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father published by Beacon Press in March 2022. A paperback version follows in March 2023 in honour of Women’s History Month. Earlier books include DEFIANT BRIDES, named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on Revolutionary-era women, THE MUSE OF THE REVOLUTION, and the best-selling AMERICAN EMPRESS.  Nancy’s journalistic work has appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the New England Quarterly and national magazines. She is the executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.

Connect with her at

Buy your copy of ‘Poor Richard’s Women’ here.

Events Calendar 2023

To view all upcoming events for the year, please check out our Event’s Calendar via the button below!

Being Human Festival 2022

Did you know that this year marks the 250th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s visit to the Lake District in 1772?

Benjamin Franklin House will be teaming up with Keswick Museum, Lancaster University, the Royal Society and The Beacon Museum to commemorate the occasion as part of this year’s Being Human Festival. The event, Benjamin Franklin’s Scientific Adventures in the English Lakes will be taking place in Keswick Museum on Saturday 19th November 2022 between 11am and 3pm.

Interested in the history of science? Fancy learning about influential experiments conducted in the English Lake District hundreds of years ago? Come along for a hands-on exploration of this extraordinary chapter in scientific history. This activity marks the 250th anniversary of the American scientist, printer and statesman Benjamin Franklin’s visit to the Lakes in 1772.  Learn about some of the breakthrough experiments Franklin and his friends were conducting two and a half centuries ago. Explore why oil and water interact in the way that they do, and discover how to grow salt crystals.

Bookable sessions will run hourly. Drop-ins on the day are welcome, but the space for each session is limited. Please reserve places in advance. This activity is suited to family audiences of all ages.

Book Now

Oil on Water: Benjamin Franklin in the English Lakes from Henry Iddon on Vimeo.

After Dark: Christmas at Craven Street

Glistening by candlelight, our 18th century Georgian Home is the perfect setting for a cosy and historical Christmas. Our guided evening tours will take you on a magical journey through our extraordinary history.

  • A rare opportunity to see our home after-dark
  • Step back in time, walk through the rooms Ben knew and loved, and learn of Georgian Christmas traditions and celebrations
  • Snap photos of the House dressed with authentic 18th century decorations
  • Enjoy mince pies and the warming English yuletide drink, Wassail, in the Parlour of Benjamin Franklin

Thursday 8 and 22 December.
Tours will run at 5pm and 6pm. Limited capacity with timed entry. Book now to secure the date and tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Benjamin Franklin House at History Camp America 2022

On Saturday 5th November, we will be taking part in History Camp America 2022! Across the day there will be a series of interesting virtual talks and tours from institutions all over the US. Benjamin Franklin House will be joining from across the pond to deliver a virtual tour of the House and demonstration of Franklin’s Glass Armonica.

To view the schedule for History Camp America 2022, please find the information here; HCA 2022 Schedule.

We expect more than 30 sessions for 2022—including presentations, historic site tours, recipes, session-stretch yoga, and more! Registrants have exclusive access to the online portal on the day of the event as well as one year exclusive access to replay the sessions following the event.

To view previews of the 7 site tours, please follow the like here.

After Dark: Thanksgiving

Looking for the perfect London Thanksgiving? Whether you’re an American expat, former US resident or simply an Americanophile, our museum is the ideal setting to spend quality time with family and friends on this all-important American Holiday.

  • Celebrate with an after-hours tour of the historic House
  • View decorations created by our school and family groups
  • Add a note to the ‘Wall of Gratitude’ in the House’s corridor
  • Enjoy traditional Thanksgiving treats (including the “best Pumpkin Pie” in London) in our parlour

Thursday 24 November 2022.

Tours will run at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. Limited capacity with timed entry. BOOK NOW to secure the tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Literary Prize 2022: SUBMISSIONS OPEN

The deadline for our Annual Literary Prize is fast approaching, but worry not! There is still over a month left before submissions close on Wednesday 30th November 2022 at 23:59.

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be published on our website.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is held in association with The Telegraph and endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

2022 Competition

The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2022 is ‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784. Please find details of how to enter below:

  • Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent to by 23:59 on Wednesday 30th November
  • Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
  • Each Entrant is asked to provide their name, preferred email, postal address and phone number within the email and the entry attached as a word document. In addition entrants should provide their age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
  • Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction

Shortlisted entries and the eventual winners will be announced in early 2023.

Please contact our Education Manager with any queries.

After Dark: The Cadavers of Craven Street

Thursday 27 October 2022, from 5pm.

Are you ready to explore the darker side of Benjamin Franklin House?!  Join us for an after-hours tour this Halloween to hear of haunted happenings at our Historic House.

  • See Benjamin Franklin House transformed for the occasion and experience a eerie evening in an original Georgian home
  • Hear the spine-chilling stories of the cadavers that were found in our basement
  • Immerse yourself in our small and spooky candle-lit rooms
  • Listen to the haunting tones of Franklin’s Glass Armonica

There might even be some tasty treats (or tricks) along the way…

Your history-lovers Halloween starts here! Limited capacity with timed entry. Book now to secure the tour time of your choice.

£15 per person (plus booking fee), refreshments included.

Open House 2022

As part of this year’s Open House festival, we invite you to take the exclusive chance to experience Benjamin Franklin House self-guided, using our free, digital guide on Bloomberg Connects. 

36 Craven Street is exceptional given that it retains a high degree of authentic features, with relatively few later alterations. These include original floorboards, original ceilings, and original fireplaces. Most of the rooms are panelled; the stairs are original. There are carved wood mantelpieces with decorative pilasters to the jambs in the room which was Franklin’s Parlour. Combined with Benjamin Franklin’s long residence, the House is of special cultural importance, reflected by its Grade l status.

Visitors will be able to walk around at their own leisure and will get to go behind the scenes through exclusive talks and information on the app.

This is a drop-in open day, so there is no need to pre-book. To prepare and save time upon arrival, please download our guide on Bloomberg Connects.

There will be an alternative, accessible version of the guide available on the day.

Plan your day here.

Virtual Talk: Benjamin Franklin and Popular Culture

Thursday 1st September 2022 – 5pm BST/12pm ET

Join our Front of House and Marketing Supervisor, Jessica Eykel, as she explores why and how Franklin has endured within the popular imagination since his death in 1790.

She’ll also attempt to answer that one question on everyone’s mind … ‘where on earth is Franklin in Hamilton?!’