What I Didn’t Know About Jefferson and Why I
Want To Know As Much As I Can
often wondered why I admired Jefferson from the get-go.
that he was a true Renaissance man—meaning that he was
full of curiosity?
that I was lucky enough to visit Monticello and so feel connected
to him through the art there, the gardens, his books, his
that he was known as a writer? And even so that he was not
so prideful that he couldn’t borrow from others with
his writing style? I mean, the clarity that parallelism affords
have been that he was able to be friends—and learn from
others quite unlike himself. Even with the likes of cantankerous
John Adams; Difficult as Adams could be, there was always
a discussion to be had, something new to learn.
watched his history change over the years, new things were
revealed. Some thought them scandalous. Some of the things
others thought scandalous, I didn’t. Other things that
were barely mentioned disappointed me.
I hear that this man rewrote the New Testament of the
Bible and that the Smithsonian
is conserving the volume. It is being called Jefferson’s
“Secret Bible.” The title is “The Life
and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. ” It focuses “on
the ethical teaching of Jesus.” I understand from academics
that I know that it does not include the mythical, magical
(what Jefferson called the supernatural) parts of Christianity
that so many favor.
not surprised. Jefferson was a thinking man, one who would
pick and choose what he included in his belief system as least
as carefully as he chose the architectural details of the
home he built in Virginia.
I’ll be ordering it. Whether I agree with any stance
he might take—indeed even with the idea he wrote it—is
not important. What is important is that we as human beings
keep our minds open and use our exquisite ability to think
and to read and to write as best we might.
Tips and Tidbits
(Each month in this box, Carolyn
lists a Tidbit that will help authors write or promote
better. She will also include a Tip to help readers
find a treasure among long-neglected books or a sapphire
among the newly-published.)
believe that writers do themselves and their books
a disservice when they aren’t full partners
in the promotion of them. The Internet has brought
them a way to reach more people faster than ever
before. I even wrote a book on the subject. But
I also believe that one book on marketing is never
enough—not for authors at least. Internet
beginners will learn much from Penny Sansevieri’s
new book on Internet Marketing.
Tip for Readers' Tip:
Magdalena Ball and I coauthored
a book of poetry to celebrate earth and the universe
for Earth Day and every day of the Year. Sublime
Planet is the first full book of poetry in our
Celebration Series that includes chapbooks for
holidays including Mother's Day, Father's Day,
Christmas, Valentine's, and Women's Day. Find
Sublime Planet at Amazon.