Goodreads asked Jefferson Flanders:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Jefferson Flanders I wrote "The Republic of Virtue" (publication Dec. 12, 2014) largely because I’ve always been intrigued by the French Revolution, and greatly enjoyed its fictional depiction by Charles Dickens ("A Tale of Two Cities"), and Victor Hugo ("Ninety-Three"), and by two romantic novelists of the 20th century, Rafael Sabatini ("Scaramouche") and Baroness Orczy ("The Scarlet Pimpernel").

Then, in reading about Thomas Paine’s life, I discovered that he had been a key player during the early days of the French Revolution, and that, in turn, led me to learn more about the role of Americans in Paris during that time. There seemed to be a story there centered around the American expatriates, and one thing led to another (including a few trips to Paris), and I found myself writing the novel.

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