Thomas Paine, Excise Officer, Sussex, 1772
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was born in Thetford, England, into a Quaker family. He is portrayed at the time of his first political pamphlet, ‘The Case of the Officers of Excise’ (1772), that argued for improved pay and working conditions.
He left England and joined the American Revolution where he anonymously wrote ‘Common Sense’ (1776), an immensely influential and accessible pamphlet, during the struggle for independence.
He returned to England and produced ‘Rights of Man’ (1791) in response to Edmund Burke and in defence of republicanism. He moved to France during the revolutionary period and served on the National Convention, despite not speaking French. He wrote critically about organised religion in ‘Age of Reason’ in three parts in 1794, 1795, and in 1807 in North America. He remains largely unrecognised in Britain.
One of a set of eight images from Red Saunders’ Hidden Project.
The Hidden Project
The Hidden Project recreates great moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice. The aim of the project, through reimagining those events, is to reproduce important historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have so often been hidden from history. Tony Benn, Patron of the Hidden Project, says “Those who see these photographic representations will then be able to identify with past generations and gain confidence from the knowledge that they are part of a world-wide movement that has always existed and must be sustained.”
Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, musical and political activism.
Images copyright Red Saunders 2011. Retouching by Adrian Hayes.
Further information and full credit list of supporters and volunteers on ‘The Hidden Project’ go to the website: www.redsaundersphoto.eu.