New project aims to uncover Thomas Paine’s revolutionary influences
A project devoted to understanding what inspired 18th Century political pamphleteer Thomas Paine to help bring about American Independence is being launched at the University of Sussex on 16 July.
The Thomas Paine Project is concerned with the great transformation of political thought and politics in the years from Paine’s arrival in Lewes, East Sussex, in 1768 to the end of his involvement in the North American Revolution and the French Revolution.
Set up by University of Sussex PhD student Paul Myles with historian Professor Richard Whatmore, the project involves digitising editions of the Sussex Weekly Advertiser or Lewes Journal from 1768 until 1774 – the year Paine left for America.
Mr Myles says: “The mystery is how Paine came to have these ideas that led to him writing Common Sense, the book that convinced American colonists that they should fight for independence.”