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  • Paston Footprints

Thomas Paine

These are the times that try men’s souls’

wrote Thomas Paine as he turned his pen towards lifting the struggling American army to continue their fight for freedom.


Through re-enactment, I give an audience the chance to imagine what it was like to hear those words. By taking on the personage of Thomas Paine, my audience can start to understand how it was that a corset maker from Thetford, in Norfolk, became the inspiration for so many people and one of the key figures in the American Revolution.


The world has changed in many ways. In many ways, the struggles of ordinary people have not. Paine spoke to the oppressed, the poor, the disenfranchised and the desperate. Many people feel this way today. They, like the American patriots of the 18th century, need their heads and hearts lifting so that they can begin to change their world.

“We have it on our power to begin the world again”

Paine’s life experiences and his thirst for education provided him with the confidence and the knowledge with which to take on the greatest challenges.


The message of the great campaigners for social justice, refreshed for new audiences, can continue to support the process of positive, transformative change.


Recommended reading:




Recommended reading

  • Thomas Paine's Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens

  • The Thomas Paine Reader - Penguin Classics

  • The Trouble With Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine by Paul Collins

  • Tom Paine by W.E. Woodward

  • Tom Paine: The Greatest Exile by David Powell


Useful online sources:





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