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

Paperback | June 6, 2012

byKevin 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 literarylife 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 thefull 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 aslaw, history, philosophy, and natural science and, most importantly, lays bare the ideas which informed the thinking of America's first great intellectual.

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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 literarylife of our most literary president. In The R...

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.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:752 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:June 6, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019989583X

ISBN - 13:9780199895830

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Table of Contents

Book I: The Education of Thomas Jefferson1. Fire2. A Boy and His Books3. A Correct, Classical Scholar4. William and Mary5. The Williamsburg Circle6. The Limits of English Law7. A Shelf of Notebooks8. Becoming a BurgessBook II: Family and Nation9. Domestic Life and Literary Pursuits10. Rude Bard of the North11. A Summary View of the Rights of British America12. The Pen and the Tomahawk13. The Declaration of Independence14. The Book Culture of Philadelphia and Williamsburg, Contrasted15. Of Law and Learning16. Lines of Communication17. Notes on the State of Virginia18. The Narrow House19. An American OdysseyBook III: Our Man in Paris20. Bookman in Paris21. Talking about Literature22. London Town23. Summer of '8624. An Inquisitive Journey through France and Italy25. A Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley26. Last Days in ParisBook IV: Servant of the People27. The Young Idea28. The Anas29. Letters from a Virginia Farmer30. The Vice-President and the Printed Word31. The First Inaugural Address32. Wall of Separation33. "Life of Captain Lewis"34. President as Patron of LiteratureBook V: Monticello35. Return to Monticello36. Letters to an Old Friend37. The Library of Congress38. The Retirement Library39. The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth40. The Autobiography41. The University of Virginia from Dream to Reality42. The Life and Soul of the UniversityAn Essay on Sources