Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Women Jefferson Loved Hardcover – October 26, 2010
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Scharff (Home Lands: How Women Made the West) doesn't shy from controversy in this account of five women who greatly impacted Thomas Jefferson's life and career. Jefferson's mother Jane was born into privilege and mismanaged her estate her entire life. But she was educated and motivated, and passed along a "sense of duty, respect for learning, and enjoyment of the fine things of life" to her children. Jefferson's wife, the widower Martha Wayles, was a strong woman who endured one tragedy after another; Jefferson described their 10 year marriage as "unchequered happiness." Martha was the half-sister and owner of Sally Hemings, the youngest of a family of slaves she inherited from her father. Scharff cites Hemings's son in writing that Sally's "coming of age" in her late teens was linked directly to her "becoming the mistress-or to use Madison Hemings's word, concubine-of Thomas Jefferson," who was thirty years her senior. Jefferson's fiercely devoted daughters, Patsy and Polly, denounced rumors of the affair and round out the cast of characters who populate Scharff's fascinating study. Writing with precision, control, and a delicate lyricism, Scharff unearths not only five important figures but also a society facing epic shifts. Photos.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
According to historian Scharff, Thomas Jefferson’s “most closely guarded secrets, the most fiercely maintained silences, all had to do with the women he loved.” It stands to reason that in order to fully understand a man as tremendously gifted and as deeply flawed as Thomas Jefferson, one must also understand and appreciate the women who collectively formed the foundation of his life and shaped the nature of his legacy. Although Jefferson’s mother, daughters, granddaughters, wife, and enslaved mistress were all fascinating women who played distinct roles in his life and legend, they were also creatures of their time and place, living, enduring, and playing by the rules of a patriarchal, male-dominated society. By studying these women Scharff not only opens a window to the heart and soul of one of our nation’s founders but also resurrects their own contributions to our nation’s history. --Margaret Flanagan
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
The author seems to have a mean-spirited, anti-Jefferson agenda, insinuating less than noble motives for his every action. She quotes from letters, then gives her "spin" on what the quotes mean; more often than not, her interpretation is one that casts a shadow of suspicion that in my mind is not warranted by the objective evidence. I agree with previous reviewers who have said that this book should be considered historical fiction.
It is difficult to track the large cast of characters, especially since so many of them have the same first names. The characterizations of Thomas Jefferson offered new insignt into how he fared as husband, father, slave owner. The women in the pre-Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary eras had hard lives indeed, with frequent child bearing, frequent loss of children, and hard physical work.