MY thanks are owed to those who have helped me chase some of Paine's more obscure references, especially Nigel Biggar, Selina Chen, David Eastwood, Martin Fitzpatrick, Simon Hornblower, Colin Lucas, Paul Langford, Leslie Mitchell, Sarah Turvey, and David Wootton.
This collection is for my children, Joe, Ruth, and Hannah. Their various contributions gave added resonance to Paine's insistence that 'every age and generation must be free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it.' Given their ages, their sovereignty is still a long way off, although we already disagree about exactly how far. But when it comes, they could do a lot worse than to have Paine's work to hand.