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Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times

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Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) was extremely well educated, traveled in the circles of presidents and aristocrats, and was known on two continents for her particular grace and sincerity. Yet, as mistress of a large household, she was not spared the tedium, frustration, and great sorrow that most women of her time faced. Though Patsy's name is familiar because of her famous father, Kierner is the first historian to place Patsy at the center of her own story, taking readers into the largely ignored private spaces of the founding era. Randolph's life story reveals the privileges and limits of celebrity and shows that women were able to venture beyond their domestic roles in surprising ways.

Following her mother's death, Patsy lived in Paris with her father and later served as hostess at the President's House and at Monticello. Her marriage to Thomas Mann Randolph, a member of Congress and governor of Virginia, was often troubled. She and her eleven children lived mostly at Monticello, greeting famous guests and debating issues ranging from a woman's place to slavery, religion, and democracy. And later, after her family's financial ruin, Patsy became a fixture in Washington society during Andrew Jackson's presidency. In this extraordinary biography, Kierner offers a unique look at American history from the perspective of this intelligent, tactfully assertive woman.

Review:

"Thomas Jefferson's eldest surviving daughter, Martha (1772 — 1836), joined her mother and Jefferson's slave-mistress Sally Hemings as one of three prominent women in the third president's life of public prestige and personal tragedy. Kierner, a professor of history at George Mason University, describes how Martha, educated in a Parisian convent, witnessed the births of the American and French Revolutions and later served as her father's confidante, balancing multiple concerns while following the era's approved societal and marital constraints. Even when married with 11 children and conflicted over slavery, resourceful Martha remained entangled in her father's world, from serving as hostess at the White House (in place of her late mother) to overseeing a cadre of Monticello's female slaves spinning cotton to reduce the family's financial strain. With an emphasis on the complexities of the extensive relationships among the Jeffersons, Randolphs, and Wayleses (the family of Jefferson's wife), Kierner succeeds in presenting a well-cited clear view of Martha's role both behind the scenes of a notable historical figure and as an example of the rarely chronicled contributions of women during the early American era. 30 illus., 1 map. Agent: Lisa Adams, Garamond Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Cynthia A. Kierner is professor of history at George Mason University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807835524
Author:
Kierner, Cynthia A.
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Albemarle County, Virginia
Subject:
American revolution
Subject:
Child rearing
Subject:
Education Debt
Subject:
Gentry
Subject:
Gossip
Subject:
Hemings family
Subject:
Thomas Jefferson
Subject:
Letter writing
Subject:
Migration
Subject:
Monticello
Subject:
Paris
Subject:
Presidential dinners
Subject:
Plantation mistresses
Subject:
Randolph family
Subject:
Martha Jefferson Randolph
Subject:
Thomas Mann Randolph
Subject:
Reading
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Social life
Subject:
Tuckahoe, Virginia
Subject:
Washington, d. c.
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Randolphs of Virginia /
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Plantation mistress
Subject:
Es
Subject:
Thomas Jeff
Subject:
erson
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 halftones,1 map, 1 family tree
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Jefferson, Thomas
History and Social Science » World History » General

Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$35.00 In Stock
Product details 400 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807835524 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thomas Jefferson's eldest surviving daughter, Martha (1772 — 1836), joined her mother and Jefferson's slave-mistress Sally Hemings as one of three prominent women in the third president's life of public prestige and personal tragedy. Kierner, a professor of history at George Mason University, describes how Martha, educated in a Parisian convent, witnessed the births of the American and French Revolutions and later served as her father's confidante, balancing multiple concerns while following the era's approved societal and marital constraints. Even when married with 11 children and conflicted over slavery, resourceful Martha remained entangled in her father's world, from serving as hostess at the White House (in place of her late mother) to overseeing a cadre of Monticello's female slaves spinning cotton to reduce the family's financial strain. With an emphasis on the complexities of the extensive relationships among the Jeffersons, Randolphs, and Wayleses (the family of Jefferson's wife), Kierner succeeds in presenting a well-cited clear view of Martha's role both behind the scenes of a notable historical figure and as an example of the rarely chronicled contributions of women during the early American era. 30 illus., 1 map. Agent: Lisa Adams, Garamond Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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