The Passion of Benjamin Franklin

A rollicking dive into Ben’s self-declared “hard-to-be-governed passion.”

In this episode, we dig into the stories behind Benjamin Franklin’s notoriously naughty reputation on a quest to determine whether he was a flirt, a feminist, or the philandering father of dozens of children. And we dive into a letter of Franklin’s that was considered too obscene to print until 150 years after his death.

Listen now:

Cover Image: A Rare Portrait of Benjamin Franklin with a Young Girl by Lilly Martin Spencer


Benjamin Franklin and Women, Edited by Larry Tise

Dr. Benjamin Franklin and the Ladies: Being Various Letters, Essays & Bagatelles and Satires to & About the Fair Sex, Peter Pauper Press, 1939.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson





  1. Kathy Buskett
    March 28, 2023 / 4:33 am

    “In the dark all cats are grey“

    I’m writing a book with Ben Franklin as the antagonist. This was really helpful. Thanks!

    • Howard Dorre
      April 24, 2023 / 12:11 pm

      Glad we could help! He’s such a rich character and I’m intrigued by the idea of him as antagonist.

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