Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Frank Palmeri will talk about Newcastle born eighteenth century satirist and utopian writer Thomas Spence

October 6 @ 14:00 - 15:00

Thomas Spence has been recognised as the most important socialist thinker of the 1790s. He was also a strong satirist of aristocracy and of land-holders generally.

This talk will consider Spence as a satirist and utopian writer, and will conclude by considering parallels between the thought and writing of Spence and of William Morris a century later.

Frank Palmeri is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Miami.

To join us for this talk, which is running only online, please click on the link below shortly before 2pm on Wednesday:


Meeting ID: 869 1936 4393
Passcode: 363581

The talk will also be recorded for later viewing on our YouTube channel.

Thomas Spence

Thomas Spence was born in Newcastle in 1750. Spence was the leading English revolutionary of his day, with an unbudgeable commitment to individual and press freedom and the common ownership of the land.

His tracts, such as The Rights of Man (Spence was, perhaps, the first to use the phrase) and The Rights of Infants, along with his utopian visions of ‘Crusonia’ and ‘Spensonia’, were the most far-reaching radical statements of the period. Spence was born in poverty and died the same way, after long periods of imprisonment, in 1814.

Although sometimes hailed as England’s ‘first modern socialist’, Spence is not easily corralled by later ideologies. He was a mortal enemy of tyranny and what he called ‘giantism’ of all kinds.


October 6
14:00 - 15:00