By Kevin J. Hayes
Thomas Jefferson was once an avid book-collector, a voracious reader, and a talented writer--a guy who prided himself on his wisdom of classical and glossy 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 street to Monticello, Kevin J. Hayes fills this crucial hole via providing a full of life account of Jefferson's religious and highbrow improvement, targeting the books and ideas that exerted the main profound effect on him. relocating chronologically via Jefferson's lifestyles, Hayes finds the entire variety and intensity of Jefferson's literary passions, from the preferred "small books" offered by means of touring chapmen, resembling The historical past of Tom Thumb, which enthralled him as a baby; 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 general books, Hayes bargains a wealth of latest scholarship at the print tradition of colonial the United States, finds an intimate portrait of Jefferson's actions past the political chamber, and reconstructs the president's investigations in such assorted fields of information as legislations, historical past, philosophy and average technology. most significantly, Hayes uncovers the tips and exchanges which educated the contemplating America's first nice highbrow and exhibits how his lifelong pursuit of data culminated within the formation of a public delivering, the "academic village" which turned UVA, and his extra deepest retreat at Monticello.
Gracefully written and painstakingly researched, The highway to Monticello presents a useful examine Jefferson's highbrow and literary existence, uncovering the roots of a few of the main important--and influential--ideas that experience knowledgeable American heritage.
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Additional resources for The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson
Though his school generally provided a good atmosphere for learning, Maury was occasionally distracted from the life of the mind. He grumbled about the Two-Penny Act. Passed the same year Jefferson began attending his school, this legislation ﬁxed the parsons’ salaries at two pence per pound of tobacco and effectively reduced their salary by two-thirds. By no means alone in his dissatisfaction with the Virginia legislature, Maury would become the central ﬁgure in the Parson’s Cause, as the issue came to be called.
41 Though Maury enhanced Jefferson’s appreciation of the English language, he was fueling ﬂames kindled by Jefferson’s boyhood reading of belletristic essays in his father’s library. Maury’s most important contribution to Jefferson’s education remains the classical knowledge he gave him. In a letter to Joseph Priestley, Jefferson ably conveyed his love of ancient languages: I think the Greeks and Romans have left us the purest models which exist of ﬁne composition, whether we examine them as works of reason, or of style and fancy; and to them we probably owe these characteristics of modern composition.
Thomas Walker, friend, neighbor, and family physician, was making professional visits to Shadwell on an increasingly frequent basis. In July, Peter felt concerned enough about the state of his health to make a will. Around the time of his father’s death, Thomas broke off his studies with Douglas to return to Shadwell. No ﬁrsthand accounts of Peter Jefferson’s funeral survive, but his Book of Common Prayer, which details the actions that should be taken and the words that must be spoken during the burial of the dead, functions as a record of the event in retrospect.
The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson by Kevin J. Hayes