Welcome to the website of George Goodwin, historian and author of Fatal ColoursFatal Rivalry and Benjamin Franklin in London — now available in paperback published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) and Yale University Press (USA & Canada).

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Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father

(BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week on UK publication) 

Benjamin Franklin in London is a completely new interpretation, focusing on Benjamin Franklin as a proud Briton, both before and during his more than fifteen years in London that was brought to an abrupt end in March 1775. It was only then that Franklin gave up hope of the change of government that could have kept the American colonies in the British Empire.

Told with with and verve, Benjamin Franklin in London highlights the daily life and devoted social circle of this great polymath – the 18th century equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci – in the hustle and bustle of the greatest city in the World.

Benjamin Franklin in London reveals a man of shifting identities, a ‘chess player’, who in the 1760s considered staying in Britain forever, then in the 1770s became one of its most formidable enemies, before a final twist in the 1780s enabled him to achieve a reconciliation with a peace negotiated with men he knew so very well.

For up-to-date Review Quotes

For articles and features see Benjamin Franklin in London

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Christmas Traditions

A celebration of festive lore
This entertaining explanation of the origins of our individual Christmas traditions is complemented by illustrations from the British Library’s comprehensive collection of vintage Christmas books, cards and ephemera.
A celebratory guide to Christmases past and a welcome Christmas present.
From British Library Publishing — 26 September 2019
“This book will help you discover the secrets behind the festive season” – Lucinda Hawksley, great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens

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Fatal Rivalry

Fatal Rivalry is a history of vaunting royal ambition and deepening personal conflict– set against the extraordinary wealth, vitality and power of the Renaissance in Britain.

England’s most cunning king, Henry VII, and his young successor, Henry VIII, compete in magnificence with Scotland’s greatest, James IV: but then rivalry leads to war and, finally to Flodden, the biggest and bloodiest Anglo-Scottish battle, on 9 September 1513.

Fatal Rivalry deploys a sparkling cast of characters – great kings, colourful queens, conniving courtiers and political popes – as James IV negotiates ‘perpetual peace’ and independence for Scotland, until young Henry VIII’s desire for European glory sparks the wars of 1513.

‘A terrific account’  – Daily Telegraph 

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Fatal Colours

Fatal Colours vividly recreates the vibrant and violent atmosphere of fifteenth-century England, as the turbulent and traumatic reign of Henry VI dissolves amidst the carnage of the 1st War of the Roses.  The final resolution comes at Towton, possibly the largest and certainly the most brutal battle on English soil – a contest between two kings of England that changed both kingship and England forever.

‘Vivid, humane and deeply researched’ – David Starkey

Covers of books by George Goodwin

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