The following interpretive essays offer context about topics pertaining to the British edition of  Common Sense in our collection. Follow the links below to read the essays. Links within each essay direct the reader to relevant material in the original source and its annotations.

Interpretive Essays and Exhibits (2 total)

Thomas Paine

by Marie Pellissier

Thomas Paine, the mind behind Common Sense, was an active participant in the great European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment. Learn more about Paine's childhood, intellectual development and other writings. 

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Holes in the Cloth: What Got Left Out of the British Edition of Common Sense?

by Marie Pellissier

The first British edition of Common Sense has over twenty changes to the text, including redactions and additions. Why did J. Almon, the British printer, make these changes, and what did he remove?

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