Thomas Paine is perhaps the most emblematic transatlantic revolutionary, but his French period has not until now been studied to the extent it deserves. Yet it reveals the many facets of Paine’s activism and thought. When he came back to Europe in 1787, he had become one of the staunchest supporters of a democratic and representative republic, and, after 1789, he hoped to see these principles exported to Europe. This introduction sums up the main features of Paine’s republicanism on the eve of the French Revolution. It then explains how Paine was led to use this republican vade mecum in French and English contexts and next details how the book will focus on the key moments when Paine’s republicanism was seen either as a touchstone or as a counter-model for French revolutionaries.