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Benjamin Franklin's Friendships in London

A lecture by Lady Reid comparing Samuel Johnson and Benjamin Franklin's varying friendships and interests in 18th-century London

Franklin and Johnson were contemporaries in London though their paths rarely crossed. Why was this? What friends did they have in common, and what was the nature of that friendship? Why and how did they have different friends and what does that tell us of the nature of society in mid 18th century London? Franklin’s place in the excitement of the Enlightenment, the early scientific discoveries, the pursuit of new forms of societal relationships, the inspiration behind the Industrial Revolution, and, above all the search for practical progress. All in contrast with the more literary and intellectual interests of Johnson and his circle. In spite of the differences Franklin and Johnson had unexpected areas of common ground.

Lady Joan Reid became a Trustee of the Benjamin Franklin House Restoration nine years ago and elected to become the Historian of the House. Since then she has lectured on many Franklin subjects in the UK and the US.


Lady Joan Reid | talks


Date and Time:

10 September 2008 at 7:00 pm


1 hour



Dr Johnson's House
17 Gough Square
0207 353 3745

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£12/£10 concessions

Available from:

Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London or email curator@drjohnsonshouse or telephone 020 7353 3745

Additional Information:

Ticket price includes entry to the House and a glass of wine following the lecture.

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