Rights of Man
  • Publication Date: March 29, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781551115849 / 1551115840
  • 400 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Rights of Man

  • Publication Date: March 29, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781551115849 / 1551115840
  • 400 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Advocating equality, meritocracy, and social responsibility in plain language, Thomas Paine galvanized tens of thousands of readers and changed the framework of political discourse with this text. He was tried and convicted for sedition by the British government for publishing Rights of Man, Part Two but his direct style and provocative ideas were hugely influential.

This edition situates Rights of Man within the discussion of the French Revolution in Britain and enables readers to understand the broader political debates of the 1790s. Appendices include responses to the French Revolution, Paine’s response to the Proclamation that declared his writing seditious, contemporary political philosophy by Richard Price and Edmund Burke, and cartoons satirizing Paine and his views.


“Perhaps no political treatise is more important to the development of modern political thought and yet so often misread than Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man. Claire Grogan’s comprehensively annotated edition of this classic text corrects the problem of decontextualized readings by not only reviving the tumultuous political debates with which Paine engaged, but also by distinguishing the unique style, argument, and overall significance of this revolutionary tract. With a critical yet lively introduction, this edition of Rights of Man is indispensable to anyone interested in understanding the development of 1790s radical thought and its relevance today.” — Juan Luís Sánchez, University of California, Los Angeles

Thomas Paine: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Rights of Man
Part One
Part Two

Appendix A: Monarchs of Great Britain

Appendix B: Price and Burke

  1. From Richard Price, A Discourse on the Love of our Country (1789)
  2. From Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

Appendix C: From Thomas Paine, Letter Addressed to the Addressers on the Late Proclamation (1792)

Appendix D: Five Versions of the Versailles Incident

  1. From Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
  2. From Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)
  3. From Helen Maria Williams, Letters Written in France (1790)
  4. From Correspondance de Madame Élisabeth de France, Soeur de Louis XVI (1868 [1789])
  5. Stanislas Maillard describes the Women’s March to Versailles, 5 October 1789 (1790)

Appendix E: Contemporary Reviews

  1. From Analytical Review (Jan–Apr 1791)
  2. From Analytical Review (Jan–Apr 1792)
  3. From The Monthly Review (May 1791)
  4. From The English Freeholder (1 June 1791)

Appendix F: Published Responses to Paine

  1. From Rights of Englishmen, An Antidote To the Poison Now Vending by the Transatlantic Republican Thomas Paine (1791)
  2. A Letter from a Magistrate (1791)
  3. From A Defence of the Constitution of England (1791)
  4. From Letter to Thomas Paine, In answer to his late publication
    On the Rights of Man
  5. From A British Freeholder’s Address to his Countrymen
  6. From A Plain Address to the Common Sense of the
    People of England
  7. From Hannah More, Village Politics (1793)
  8. Daniel Isaac Eaton, “A New Song: God Save Great Thomas
    Paine.” Hog’s Wash, or a Salmagundy for Swine (1794)

Appendix G: Cartoons

  1. James Gillray, “The Rights of Man; or Tommy Paine, the little American Taylor” (23 May 1791)
  2. W. Locke, “Mad Tom, or the Man of Rights” (1 September 1791)
  3. James Sayers, “Loyalty against Levelling” (15 December 1792)
  4. James Gillray, “Fashion before Ease; or, A good Constitution
    sacrificed, for a Fantastick Form” (2 January 1793)

Appendix H: The Trial of Thomas Paine (December 1792)

Select Bibliography

Claire Grogan is Professor of English at Bishop’s University. She is the editor of the Broadview Editions of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Elizabeth Hamilton’s Memoirs of Modern Philosophers.