Where’s the Love? Jefferson in the Woods in Jefferson in Paris

Gregory Jakes


Thomas Jefferson's interest in aristocrat Maria Cosway is well-known, but the way the relationship is portrayed to evolve in James Ivory’s film "Jefferson in Paris" is intriguing. During a supposedly romantic scene in a forest, Jefferson proclaims his profound love to Maria. At first glance, the scene seems to be a heartwarming exchange, but with closer analysis of the context, music, atmosphere, dialogue, and body language, an eerie uneasiness is observed. Is Thomas Jefferson really being the honorable man we want him to be? Or is there something more sinister hidden behind his poetic words?

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