Benjamin Franklin is outgrowing the colonies; when Pennsylvania asks him to go to England on official business, he jumps at the chance. Accompanied by his beloved son, William, Franklin takes up residence in London and a new persona emerges. He indulges himself with the finest clothes, lavish food, abundant wine and all the other trappings of a gentleman. He also meets intellectual peers among Europe's leading figures in science, philosophy and letters. Franklin's devoted wife, Deborah, who has become accustomed to his long absences, maintains his business and his position in Philadelphia. All of that is threatened as Franklin finds himself in the middle of a growing series of disputes between England and her American colonies. A fervent champion of the British Empire, Franklin struggles as a conciliator, but the English blame him for inciting rebellion in America and he is called to account before His Majesty's Privy Council. It is a turning point. Franklin turns his back on Britain and sets sail for America, arriving just after the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Working with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, he helps to draft the Declaration of Independence. William, who serves as governor of New Jersey, remains loyal to the Crown. It is a betrayal that Franklin never forgives.
If you are a student or a professor:Watch now
If you are a librarian or a professor: