The Life of Thomas Paine: Author of Common Sense, Rights of Man, Age of Reason, Letter to the Addressers, Etc.

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Best known for this 1819 biography of his friend Thomas Paine, Thomas Clio Rickman (1761-1834) is sometimes called Paine's Boswell. His sympathetic portrait follows Paine's progress from simple stay-maker to one of the most influential political activists in the age of revolutions. Although acknowledging Paine's egoism and penchant for drink, Rickman presents these flaws alongside the better qualities of a man who did not merely 'live amid great events ...he created them'. Rickman weaves together personal remembrances and historical commentary, quoting liberally from Paine's works and letters, as well as from other biographers and historians. The appendix serves to soften Paine's reputation as a fiery radical by including some of his more humorous and reflective short works and poems. Avid readers of early revolutionary history will find a scholarly take on Paine's influence in Moncure Conway's two-volume Life of Thomas Paine (1892), also reissued in this series.