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About the Author: Max Byrd

May Byrd is the author of a number of scholarly books on 18th century English literature, including Visits to Bedlam and London Transformed. Winner of the Shamus Award for best paperback private detective novel, his oeuvre of detective novels include the Book-of-the-Month Club selection Target of Opportunity. Byrd is also the author of four historical novels: Grant: A Novel, Jefferson: A Novel, Jackson: A Novel, and Shooting the Sun. He currently serves as the president of the board of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Max Byrd has taught English at Yale and UC Davis, has been a visiting professor at Stanford, and has lectured at UC Berkeley, Warwick University, the Sorbonne, and Monticello. Among the many publications featuring Byrd’s articles and book reviews are the Yale Review, New York Times Book Review, New Republic, and Woodrow Wilson Quarterly. He has served as editor of the scholarly journal Eighteenth-Century Studies.

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A Novel by

Goodreads rating: 3.45

Paperback, Published in Feb 1998 by Bantam

ISBN10: 0553379372 | ISBN13: 9780553379372

Page count: 448

As he did with Presidents Jackson and Grant in those magnificent novels, Max Byrd now reveals Thomas Jefferson as we’ve never seen before. Byrd transports us to 1784, as Jefferson, the newly appointed American ambassador to the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, arrives in Paris—a city adrift in intrigue, upheaval, and temptation that will challenge his principles, incite his passions, and change him forever.
Through the eyes of his impressionable young secretary, William Short, readers watch as the future president builds his dream of America with fellow patriots John Adams and Ben Franklin, while struggling between political ambition and an unexpected crisis of the heart with a woman who has the power to destroy him. Behind the face this complex Virginian shows the world, Thomas Jefferson is an enigmatic statesman who fights for individual liberty even as he keeps slaves, who champions free will even as he denies it to his daughters, and who holds men to the highest standards of honor—even as he embarks on a shadowy double life of his own.
“Max Byrd’s historical novels about the third and seventh presidents bring both men alive in ways that only a literary imagination can.”—George F. Will, The Washington Post
“Jefferson has the organic intimacy of a novel that has sprung full-blown from the imagination of its creator.”—The New York Times
“Superb . . . fascinating in the psychological insight it provides to one of the greatest Americans . . . a truly memorable book.”—W. Jackson Bate, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Samuel Johnson and John Keats
“Absolutely splendid historical fiction that resonates with international, provincial, and individual passion and drama.”—Booklist
“A real tour de force.”—San Francisco Chronicle

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