Thursday, May 26, 2011

may 26, 1811 (sun.)

Today Mr. Jefferson is sending his married granddaughter, Anne, a novel she wanted to read, The Modern Griselda, by Maria Edgeworth. In general, he doesn't approve of girls or young women reading novels, but Mrs. Edgeworth's books teach important moral lessons.

He and Anne have long shared a love of flowers, and he reports on which ones have been and are now blooming at Monticello, "the hyacinths and tulips are off the stage, the Irises giving place to the Belladonnas ...." He writes whimsically, showing a side which would surprise those who know him only as a writer of grand political prose. (And, yes, he writes without using capital letters at the beginning of sentences.) "the flowers come forth like the belles of the day, have their short reign of beauty and splendor, & retire like them to the more interesting office of reproducing their like."

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