Jefferson in Love: The Love Letters Between Thomas Jefferson & Maria Cosway

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 138 pages
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The newly widowed Thomas Jefferson set sail for Paris. As America's new minister to France he was expected to deal with the politicians and intrigue at the court of King Louis XVI, but he was not prepared for the likes of Maria Cosway. Enchantingly beautiful, sophisticated, and talented, this Italian-born woman captured the handsome Virginian's heart. Maria was his equal in many ways - she was an accomplished portrait and landscape painter, a harpist, singer, and composer. Their romance - lasting more than three years - is recorded in these private billets-doux between the shy American minister and his precocious bonne femme. Presented here in an accessible edition by Jefferson-scholar John P. Kaminski are over forty romantic letters between Thomas and Maria. What they say about the innermost Jefferson as he pours out his heart in the midst of pre-Revolutionary France is remarkably revealing.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
A Day of Contradiction
39
A Painful Night
41
Remembering the Charming Days
42
Hoping for News
43
The Head and the Heart Converse
44
Better a Little Than None
63
One of My First Pleasures
65
In Affection You Are Greatly My Debtor
101
Addressing a StrangerLonging to Return
104
A Spontaneous Inclination
107
Maria In Waiting
108
Love Me Much and Love Me Always
109
Be to Me What You Have Been
111
A Little Journey for So Much Pleasure
112
The Way Will Ever Be Wrong Which Leads Us Farther Apart
114

No Patience to Wait
69
Transported in a Pocket
72
Anxiously Awaiting
74
Food For My Soul
75
Wishing Myself With You
77
Melancholy By Nature
79
An Enfant Gatée
82
Miserable at Losing You
88
It Seems a Dream
90
Feeling the Loss with Displeasure
93
Avoiding Second GoodByes
94
The Pain of Leaving Paris
95
A Little Corner of Your Heart
96
Think of Me Often and Warmly As I Do of You
98
Still Angry
100
Envious of Those Who Converse With You
116
A Little Corner in Your Affection
117
You Say So Much in Few Words
119
Your Bosom Calm and Soft to Me
121
Feeding on Your Friendship
122
Longing for a Letter
124
A Sad Scrawl Answering Your Charming Letters
125
Comfort Me in Going Encourage Me Returning
127
Think of Me Sometimes
129
We Think Last of Those We Love Most
130
The Privation of Your Letters
131
Divided By a Wide Sea
132
Locations of the JeffersonCosway Letters
135
Bibliography
137
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About the author (1999)

John P. Kaminski is the director of The Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has written and spoken widely on early American history and the Constitution. He is a former president of The Association for Documentary Editing.

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