By Kevin J. Hayes
Thomas Jefferson was once an avid book-collector, a voracious reader, and a proficient writer--a guy who prided himself on his wisdom of classical and sleek languages and whose marginal annotations contain quotations from Euripides, Herodotus, and Milton. And but there hasn't ever been a literary lifetime of our such a lot literary president.
In The highway to Monticello, Kevin J. Hayes fills this crucial hole via delivering a full of life account of Jefferson's religious and highbrow improvement, targeting the books and ideas that exerted the main profound impact on him. relocating chronologically via Jefferson's existence, Hayes unearths the entire diversity and intensity of Jefferson's literary passions, from the preferred "small books" bought by means of touring chapmen, akin to The historical past of Tom Thumb, which enthralled him as a toddler; to his lifelong love of Aesop's Fables and Robinson Crusoe; his engagement with Horace, Ovid, Virgil and different writers of classical antiquity; and his deep affinity with the depression verse of Ossian, the mythical third-century Gaelic warrior-poet. Drawing on Jefferson's letters, journals, and average books, Hayes deals a wealth of recent scholarship at the print tradition of colonial the US, finds an intimate portrait of Jefferson's actions past the political chamber, and reconstructs the president's investigations in such diversified fields of information as legislation, background, philosophy and traditional technological know-how. most significantly, Hayes uncovers the tips and exchanges which educated the considering America's first nice highbrow and exhibits how his lifelong pursuit of information culminated within the formation of a public providing, the "academic village" which turned UVA, and his extra inner most retreat at Monticello.
Gracefully written and painstakingly researched, The highway to Monticello presents a useful examine Jefferson's highbrow and literary lifestyles, uncovering the roots of a few of the main important--and influential--ideas that experience trained American background.
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Thomas Jefferson used to be an avid book-collector, a voracious reader, and a talented writer--a guy who prided himself on his wisdom of classical and smooth languages and whose marginal annotations comprise quotations from Euripides, Herodotus, and Milton. And but there hasn't ever been a literary lifetime of our so much literary president.
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Additional info for The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson
35 Book ownership guarantees a kind of immortality. Once the book owner is dead and buried, he will live on as long as others have the opportunity to read the book he had kept for a lifetime. Peter Jefferson’s cherry bookcase was a handsome relic, yet Thomas appreciated the books he inherited far more. A father lives on in the books he leaves to his son. chapter 3 A Correct, Classical Scholar A s much as the books he inherited meant to Thomas Jefferson, they were no substitute for the father he had lost.
Cox, the reports of the natives to both of them as to the large canoes are so similar, that I perhaps may confound one with the other. Mr. Cox’s book, I imagine, is very scarce. ’’39 Bringing the letter to a close, Maury mentions that the copy of Coxe he had seen was the one owned by Colonel Joshua Fry. The Indian whom Maury mentioned, best known by the name Moncacht-Ape´, purportedly traveled throughout North America and found a waterway linking the Mississippi with the Paciﬁc. The story ﬁrst appeared in Dumont’s Me´moires de la Louisiane, where Maury likely encountered it.
Another French book Jefferson owned also dates from this period, Charles Drelincourt’s Les Consolations de l’Ame Fide`le, Contre les Frateurs de la Mort or, as it was known in its English translation, The Christian’s Defense against the Fears of Death. Jefferson’s copy, which survives at the Library of Congress, is missing its title page. Apparently, the title page was already gone by the time it came into his hands. His inscription, which appears on the ﬁrst page of the book’s dedication, suggests that he acquired the volume in his teens.