Jefferson's Broken Heart and Wrist
Play • 50 min

We explore Thomas Jefferson's dangerous liaison in Paris with the talented artist Maria Cosway and her monkey-like husband Richard Cosway - a love story that resulted in two broken hearts, one permanently damaged wrist, and one epic 4000-word love letter written as a dialogue between Jefferson's head and heart.

Founders Online - Jefferson's Head and the Heart letter to Maria Cosway
Mr. Jefferson's Women by Jon Kukla
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
Jefferson and the Rights of Man by Dumas Malone
Jefferson: A Revealing Biography by Page Smith
John Adams by David McCullough
Richard Cosway, “The Macaroni Miniature Painter” from The Art Amateur, Vol. 8, No. 2 (January 1883)
Inspired by my post "Thomas Jefferson's Head, Heart, and Wrist"

I won't link directly to the "don't say I didn't warn you" painting of Leda and the Swan, but it's up to you if you want to Google Leda and the Swan by François Boucher 1740. (Don't do it.)

Show notes and sources at


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