On June 8th it will be 200 years since Thomas Paine’s death. Regarded as the father of the American Revolution, quoted by Barack Obama in his inaugural address and championed by everyone from Christopher Hitchens to Peter Linebaugh, he remains a key, and much fought over, figure.
Verso are publishing a new edition of his Rights of Man and Common Sense with a brand new introduction by Peter Linebaugh, student of E.P. Thompson and author of The London Hanged and co-author of The Many Headed Hydra.
To celebrate his life and writing there are events across the UK:
- In Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre, where Paine wrote some of Rights of Man, there will be an event with Tony Benn and Mike Marqusee on June 8th, remembering Paine’s life and work.
- In association with Richard Attenborough At London’s Globe Theatre there will be a performance of Trevor Griffiths’ play A New World – A Life of Thomas Paine from 29th August – 9th October.
- Thetford in Norfolk (where Paine was born) are holding an extensive series of events in late May and early June.
- Lewes in Sussex (where Paine lived for some time) are holding a festival on Paine from the 4th to the 14th July.
See Peter Linebaugh’s article written for Tom Paine’s birthday.