Royal Oak Foundation Lectures

We are pleased to offer our readers the opportunity to hear two great historians and authors speak about two fascinating British topics! Starting March 2nd, you can register for these lectures at a discount. For more information and to register for these programs, visit our partners at The Royal Oak Foundation: or call 212-480-2889, x. 201. Be sure to use code 17SBHT to receive the discounted price!

Sally Bedell Smith

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life

Prince Charles wearing a suit and tieDrawing on her extensive access to the Royal Family’s inner circle, the New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith presents the first major biography of Prince Charles in more than two decades: Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. Ms. Smith will give unprecedented insights into Prince Charles, a man who possesses a fiercely independent spirit, and yet has spent his life in waiting for the ultimate role of monarch. Beginning with his childhood, Smith will detail his intellectual quests, his entrepreneurial pursuits, and his love affairs—from the tragedy of his marriage to Diana to his eventual reunion with Camilla. She will also describe his relationship with the next generation of royals, including William, Katherine, Harry, and his beloved grandchildren. Ms. Smith captures a man who has been described as an 18th-century gentleman with a 21st-century mission—a life filled with contradictions and convictions. This is a lecture not just about a man who would be king, but also about the duties that come with privilege.

Lecture dates and locations:

  • April 5 – New York City
  • April 17 – Los Angeles
  • April 20 – San Francisco
  • April 21 – Woodside, CA
  • April 26 – Boston
  • April 27 – Philadelphia
  • May 4 – Atlanta
  • May 11 – Charleston
  • May 16 – Chicago

George Goodwin

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

Benjamin Franklin holding a bookFor the vast majority of his life, Benjamin Franklin was not only a British royalist but also an advocate of the Great British Empire of North America. Having spent 18 formative months in England as a young man in the 1720s, he was so influenced by what he found during his time in London that, over the next three decades, he created many of America’s longstanding institutions based on what he had witnessed there. In 1757, he returned to London as a Colonial representative and world-renowned scientist. He was still in London in March 1775, mere weeks before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, desperately trying to forestall the breach between Britain and the Colonies. Finally forced to leave, he barely escaped arrest. In this talk, historian George Goodwin gives a colorful account of Franklin’s British years. It was a time when Franklin counted David Hume, Erasmus Darwin and West Wycombe Park’s (NT) notorious Francis Dashwood among his friends. Franklin also had access both to successive Prime Ministers and to those who influenced the King. Goodwin offers a 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.

Lecture dates and locations:

  • May 8 – Washington DC
  • May 10 – New York City
  • May 11 – Boston
  • May 15 – Philadelphia