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March 11 , 2011

To the People of England on the Invasion of England and the Will of Thomas Paine (Illustrated)


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The Thomas Paine Reader

This major collection demonstrates the extent to which Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an inspiration to the Americans in their struggle for independence, a passionate supporter of the French Revolution and perhaps the outstanding English radical writer of his age. It contains all of Paine's major works including "The Rights of Man", his…



Thomas Paine was one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was also a political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary that is seen today in the row with the greatest thinkers such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Their collected thoughts have had strong influence on building the foundation of the United States and its endeavor of open society.

In 1797, Tom Paine lived in Paris with Nicholas Bonneville and his family. Thomas Paine and Bonneville's other controversial guests aroused the suspicions of authorities. Bonneville was then jailed and took refuge with his father in Evreux in 1800 due to that Bonneville hid the Royalist Antoine Joseph Barruel-Beauvert at his home.

Paine remained in France until 1802. In 1802, Paine left France for the United States at President Jefferson's invitation. Paine returned to the United States with paying passage for Bonneville's wife, Marguerite Brazier and their three sons, to whom Paine was godfather since Bonneville was still jailed by Napoleon.

In 1800, Paine discussed with Napoleon how best to invade England and in 1804, he returned to the subject by writing To the People of England on the Invasion of England advocating the idea.

Paine died at the age of 72, at 59 Grove Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, on the morning of June 8, 1809. Marguerite Brazier took care of Paine at the end of his life and buried him after his death on June 8, 1809. In The Will, Paine left the bulk of his estate to his friends Nicholas Bonneville and Marguerite Brazier, including 100 acres of his farm so they could maintain and educate their sons.  In 1814, the fall of Napoleon finally allowed Bonneville to rejoin his wife in the United States where he remained for four years before returning to Paris to open a bookshop.

On September 23, 2015 , Chinese President Xi Jinping, the powerful leader of the last and largest communist country in the world, visited the United States and claimed to American people that he enjoyed reading the books by Thomas Paine. Interestingly, this reminded American people that in 1800 Paine had a meeting with Napoleon in Paris. Napoleon also claimed he slept with a copy of Rights of Man under his pillow and told Paine that "a statue of gold should be erected to you in every city in the universe." However, Paine’s response to Napoleon’s progress towards dictatorship was: "the completest charlatan that ever existed". Although Thomas Paine cannot directly respond to the president Xi Jinping’s praise of his books today, former secretary of the United States Hillary Clinton responded on September 27, 205 during Xi’s same U.S. trip to UN in the United States "Xi hosting a meeting on women's rights at the UN while persecuting feminists? Shameless". Hillary’s response to President Xi Jinping is almost repeating Paine’s response to Napoleon again.

Thomas Paine is forever remembered as a philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary through his extremely influential works. His books are the wakeup call to the self-indulged dictators. His view to the real world became widely recognised as the foremost philosophical and political voice of freedom. His theory still remains true and his spirit of hard core to challenge the establishments still inspires the young generations around the world to build and evolve our democratic systems around worlds for a better future. Paine’s influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and sciences.

The collection is the source of Paine's final work to the people of England and final words to his friends.


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