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Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book:

Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book:

DOUGLAS L. WILSON EDITOR
Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 262
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zv9b5
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  • Book Info
    Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book:
    Book Description:

    This work is a new edition of Thomas Jefferson's literary commonplace book, a notebook of his literary and philosophical reading. Unlike the only previous edition, published in 1928, it contains full annotation, pertinent information on the authors and works commonplaced, and a rationale for dating the entries. Thus it is now possible to show that most of the four hundred seven passages were entered when Jefferson was a young man, between the ages of fifteen and thirty. As such, they reflect the range of his literary interests from his school days to about the time of his marriage and involvement in politics.

    As one of the few surviving documents from Jefferson's early years, this notebook assumes special importance as a source of insight into the least known period of his life. In the introduction the editor presents reasons for thinking that the commonplace book was more to Jefferson than a literary sampler and was in some respects a deeply personal notebook with direct connections to the emotional events and preoccupations of his formative years. In addition to the text and annotation, the book contains a register of authors and an illustrated essay on Jefferson's handwriting that provides the rationale for assigning approximate dates to the entries of the commonplace book.

    Originally published in 1989.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6009-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-x)
    Charles T. Cullen

    One of the great pleasures of working as an editor ofThe Papers of Thomas Jeffersonis the frequently repeated experience of discovery. Sometimes it comes from the research required to understand and explain the documents that must be edited, and sometimes it comes from the work one or more of the many Jefferson scholars produce. It was from this latter source that I had the pleasure of meeting Douglas Wilson and discussing his work on Thomas Jefferson.

    Professor Wilson came to the Jefferson Office to examine and explore the copies of the manuscript of the Literary Commonplace Book on...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Douglas L. Wilson
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. EDITORIAL APPARATUS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. SYMBOLS AND SHORT TITLES OF WORKS FREQUENTLY CITED
    (pp. xix-2)
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-20)

    Life must be lived forward, Kierkegaard reminds us, even if it can only be understood backward. Thus, history and biography, in presenting earlier events as seen in the light of later ones, color our perceptions of what happened in the past and how things came about. Thomas Jefferson presents a classic case in point, for our awareness of his great accomplishments in later life—as a founding father of the American Republic, author of the Declaration of Independence, President of the United States, architect of Monticello and the University of Virginia—invariably affects the way we approach his earlier years....

  9. THE LITERARY COMMONPLACE BOOK
    (pp. 21-154)
  10. REGISTER OF AUTHORS
    (pp. 155-188)
  11. APPENDIX A. THE HANDWRITING OF THE LITERARY COMMONPLACE BOOK
    (pp. 191-207)
  12. APPENDIX B. A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE MANUSCRIPT
    (pp. 208-216)
  13. APPENDIX C. NON-JEFFERSON ENTRIES
    (pp. 217-226)
  14. APPENDIX D. TABLES
    (pp. 227-232)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 233-242)