The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson

The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson

by Kevin J. Hayes


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Thomas Jefferson was an avid book-collector, a voracious reader, and a gifted writer, a man who prided himself on his knowledge of classical and modern languages and whose marginal annotations include quotations from Euripides, Herodotus, and Milton. And yet there has never been a literary life of our most literary president.

In The Road to Monticello, Kevin J. Hayes fills this important gap by offering a lively account of Jefferson's intellectual development, focusing on the books that exerted the most profound influence on his writing and thinking. Moving chronologically through Jefferson's life, Hayes reveals the full range and depth of Jefferson's literary passions, from the popular "small books" sold by traveling chapmen, such as The History of Fortunatas and The History of Tom Thumb that enthralled him as a child, to his lifelong love of Aesop's Fables and Robinson Crusoe, his engagement with Horace, Ovid, Virgil and other writers of classical antiquity, and his deep affinity with the melancholy verse of Ossian, the legendary third-century Gaelic warrior-poet. Drawing on Jefferson's letters, journals, and commonplace books, Hayes offers a wealth of new scholarship on the literary culture of colonial America, identifies previously unknown books held in Jefferson's libraries, reconstructs Jefferson's investigations of such different fields of knowledge as law, history, philosophy, and natural science and, most importantly, lays bare the ideas which informed the thinking of America's first great intellectual.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199895830
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2012
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 620,221
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Kevin J. Hayes is Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma and the author of A Colonial Woman's Bookshelf, An American Cycling Odyssey, Melville's Folk Roots, and Poe and the Printed Word.

Table of Contents

Book I: The Education of Thomas Jefferson
1. Fire!
2. A Boy and His Books
3. A Correct, Classical Scholar
4. William and Mary
5. The Williamsburg Circle
6. The Limits of English Law
7. A Shelf of Notebooks
8. Becoming a Burgess
Book II: Family and Nation
9. Domestic Life and Literary Pursuits
10. Rude Bard of the North
11. A Summary View of the Rights of British America
12. The Pen and the Tomahawk
13. The Declaration of Independence
14. The Book Culture of Philadelphia and Williamsburg,
15. Of Law and Learning
16. Lines of Communication
17. Notes on the State of Virginia
18. The Narrow House
19. An American Odyssey
Book III: Our Man in Paris
20. Bookman in Paris
21. Talking about Literature
22. London Town
23. Summer of '86
24. An Inquisitive Journey through France and Italy
25. A Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley
26. Last Days in Paris
Book IV: Servant of the People
27. The Young Idea
28. The Anas
29. Letters from a Virginia Farmer
30. The Vice-President and the Printed Word
31. The First Inaugural Address
32. Wall of Separation
33. "Life of Captain Lewis"
34. President as Patron of Literature
Book V: Monticello
35. Return to Monticello
36. Letters to an Old Friend
37. The Library of Congress
38. The Retirement Library
39. The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
40. The Autobiography
41. The University of Virginia from Dream to Reality
42. The Life and Soul of the University
An Essay on Sources

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