Virtual Talks Available Online!

If you missed one of our Virtual Talks, they are available on demand on their respective event pages and through our YouTube channel here

Past Virtual Events 

Character Virtues for the 21st Century by Dr Marcia Balisciano

What is good character? Why does it matter? Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century had an abiding faith in the power of good character to improve quality of life for an individual and society at large. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin identified 13 character virtues.  What were they?  Did they improve his character and are they instructive for ours?

See the full talk and Q&A here

Endell Street – The trailblazing women who ran a military hospital in WWI

Join author and journalist Wendy Moore, who acts as a judge for the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize, as she discusses her latest book, Endell Street (published in the US as No Man’s Land). This military hospital was run entirely by women and played a key role in the treatment of injured British soldiers during World War One. It was situated just minutes away from Franklin’s former home on Craven Street.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Benjamin Franklin, The Early Years

Join the House’s Education Manager, Eleanor Hamblen, for an exploration of Benjamin Franklin’s early years. From his childhood inventions to the time he spent as an apprentice to both his father and brother prior to his first visit to London in 1724. Uncover the formative experiences which shaped this Founding Father as we remember him today.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Reflecting on the US Primaries

Philip Davies, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, De Montfort University, discusses what the primary season holds and reflects on the months since the opening contests in Iowa and New Hampshire: both the winnowing of a huge field of Democratic hopefuls and the fortunes of those Republicans with the temerity to challenge President Trump.  Looking forward he will speculate on what to expect from the Democratic and Republican Conventions, and anticipate the routes that might be taken to Election Day in November.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Franklin and the Joys of 18th Century Cooking

Join the House’s Operations Manager, Caitlin Hoffman, in exploring the savoury (and unsavoury!) 18thCentury diet and how Benjamin Franklin might be considered an early foodie. Discover why the Georgians drank beer in the morning and how Franklin introduced some of his favourite foods from the colonies to his London hosts.

See the full talk and Q&A here

Benjamin Franklin in London – the British life of America’s Founding Father

George Goodwin, our Honorary Author in
Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, captures the fullness of Dr Franklin’s life in the heaving metropolis of 18th century London. He describes Franklin’s friendship with men such as Joseph Priestley and the notorious Francis Dashwood, charts Franklin’s political cooperation with Prime Ministers William Pitt the Elder and the Marquess of Rockingham, and details the final antagonism with the ‘mangling ministers’ in Lord North’s administration which ultimately made Franklin the fiercest of American patriots. In a highly illustrated talk, George tells Benjamin Franklin’s London story with wit and verve.

See the full talk and Q&A here

His Final Chapter: Benjamin Franklin’s Busy Final Five Years

In this lecture, Dr. George Boudreau explores Dr. Franklin’s last years, a sometimes overlooked, but essential part of the great man’s life.  Starting with his final visit to England on the way home from ambassadorial service in Paris, the illustrated lecture  explores his reputation in the Empire after America secured her independence, and then the changes he encountered in the newly United States when he returned to Philadelphia.  Franklin’s family dynamic, developing ideas about abolition and slavery, encounters with a new American economy, and continuing fascination with the scientific realm all vied for time in his busy mind as he helped write the Constitution of the United States and new Pennsylvania government.  This sage did not go gently into that good night.

See the full talk and Q&A here

What Would Benjamin Franklin Think About Facebook? (Fulbright Lecture Series) 

As both a publisher and postmaster, Benjamin Franklin frequently had to confront the vexing challenge of squaring the ideals of truth and liberty with the realities of immorality and the threat of harm to private and public interests.

Amy Werbel, Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom and Professor at the State University of New York-Fashion Institute of Technology, ponders how the prospect of greater censorship of social media, Franklin’s experiences and views, shed necessary light on our best path forward in tumultuous times.

See the full talk and Q&A here


Upcoming Virtual Events

The Story of Thomas Paine by Paul Myles 

Wednesday June 3rd, 3pm London/10am NY 

In this talk, Paul Myles will look at the life and times of Thomas Paine and his role in the American Revolution, focusing on his time in the town of Lewes and the Case of the Excise Officers.

Paul Myles was an engineer who managed large construction projects for 25 years. In 2009 he moved into history when he oversaw a major festival in Lewes to mark the 200th anniversary of Paine’s death, which led to the publication of two books: Thomas Paine in Lewes, 1768-1774: A Prelude to American Independence, released in 2009 with a new edition hot off the presses this year, and The Rise of Thomas Paine and the Case of the Excise Officers published in 2018. He is also a board member and officer of the Thomas Paine Society UK.

For more information and how to register for this talk follow the link here 

‘A Mere Matter of Marching’?: The War of 1812, The Battle of Queenston Heights

Wednesday June 10th, 3pm London/10am NY 

“The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching” -Thomas Jefferson, 1812

Mallory Horrill, PhD student at University College London, Institute of the Americas and House Manager and Curator of the Emery Walker Trust will be speaking on the Battle of Queenston Heights, a seminal battle in the War of 1812. This talk will explore why the United States entered into war with Great Britain (referred to by some as the ‘Second War of Independence’) and discuss in detail the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle in the war. Mallory is especially interested in identity and will explore how this battle and the larger British victory of the War of 1812 impacted and shaped the formation of the Canadian identity. 

For more information and how to register for this talk follow the link here