Mr. Jefferson's Women
By Jon Kukla
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400078578, 279pp.)
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
List Price: $17.00*
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From the acclaimed author of A Wilderness So Immense comes a pioneering study of Thomas Jefferson's relationships with women, both personal and political.
The author of the Declaration of Independence, who wrote the words “all men are created equal,” was surprisingly uncomfortable with woman. In eight chapters, Kukla examines the evidence for the founding father's youthful misogyny, beginning with his awkward courtship of Rebecca Burwell, who declined Jefferson's marriage proposal, and his unwelcome advances toward the wife of a boyhood friend. Subsequent chapters describe his decade-long marriage to Martha Wayles Skelton, his flirtation with Maria Cosway, and the still controversial relationship with Sally Hemings. A riveting study of a complex man, Mr. Jefferson's Women is sure to spark debate.