Sally Hemings

Sally Hemings One of the greatest love stories in American history is also one of the most controversial Thomas Jefferson had a mistress for years whom he loved and lived with until he died the beautiful and elu

  • Title: Sally Hemings
  • Author: Barbara Chase-Riboud
  • ISBN: 9780380486861
  • Page: 405
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • One of the greatest love stories in American history is also one of the most controversial Thomas Jefferson had a mistress for 38 years whom he loved and lived with until he died the beautiful and elusive Sally Hemings But it was not simply that Jefferson had a mistress that provoked such a scandal in both his time and ours It was that Sally Hemings was a quadroon slaveOne of the greatest love stories in American history is also one of the most controversial Thomas Jefferson had a mistress for 38 years whom he loved and lived with until he died the beautiful and elusive Sally Hemings But it was not simply that Jefferson had a mistress that provoked such a scandal in both his time and ours It was that Sally Hemings was a quadroon slave and that Jefferson fathered a slave family whose descendants are alive today In this moving novel, originally published in 1979 and having sold over two million copies worldwide, Barbara Chase Riboud re creates one of America s most powerful love stories, based on the documents and evidence of the day, and gives us a poignant, tragic, and unforgettable meditation on the history of race and sex in America.

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      Posted by:Barbara Chase-Riboud
      Published :2019-05-25T22:28:18+00:00

    About "Barbara Chase-Riboud"

    1. Barbara Chase-Riboud

      An American novelist, poet, sculptor and visual artist, perhaps best known for her historical fiction Much of her work has explored themes related to slavery and exploitation of women.Chase Riboud attained international recognition with the publication of her first novel, Sally Hemings, in 1979 The novel has been described as the first full blown imagining of Hemings life as a slave and her relationship with Jefferson 1 In addition to stimulating considerable controversy, the book earned Chase Riboud the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best novel written by an American woman and sold than one million copies in hardcover 2 She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Carl Sandburg Prize for poetry and the Women s Caucus for Art s lifetime achievement award 1 In 1965, she became the first American woman to visit the People s Republic of China after the revolution 3 In 1996, she was knighted by the French Government and received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres 4 She divides her time between Paris and Rome.The only child of Vivian May Chase, a histology technician and Charles Edward Chase, a contractor 5 Chase Riboud displayed an early talent for the arts and began attending the Fleisher Art Memorial School at the age of 8 She also excelled as an art student at the Philadelphia High School for Girls now combined with Central High School Between 1947 and 1954, she continued her training at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and won an award from Seventeen for one of her prints, which was subsequently purchased by the Museum of Modern Art 5 Chase Riboud went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tyler School at Temple University in 1957 In that same year, she won a John Hay Whitney fellowship to study at the American Academy in Rome for 12 months There, she created her first bronze sculptures and exhibited her work at the Spoleto Festival in 1957, as well as at the American Academy and the Gallery L Obeliso the following year 6 During this time, she traveled to Egypt, where she discovered non European art 6 In 1960, Chase Riboud completed a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University.After completing her studies, Chase Riboud moved to Paris.

    784 thoughts on “Sally Hemings”

    1. I have always been interested in Jefferson as a person, not as much as a President, although that may sound strange. He was conflicted, as evidenced in his stand on slavery, being against it in principle, yet unable to divest himself of the ones he had. The story of Sally's life, as told here, even though a work of fiction, does play on the known facts of her life, & could almost BE biographical in nature. I was glad to see all of the rumors finally put to rest by DNA evidence that revealed [...]


    2. July 4th of this year found me seperated from fireworks and backyard barbecue, alone and in my livingroom with the laptop, and a History Channel marathon of The American Revolution. While running wild on Twitter and Facebook, I got to know better the editor of the brilliant new ezine, Specter Magazine, a Mr. Thomas D. DeMary II. I don't recall the exact details of the twit-conversation any longer, but the end result was that he had to pony up and buy me a book of my choosing off .Seeing as it wa [...]


    3. An incredible novel, and the best example I have yet encountered of the historical fiction genre, or "faction". The author grounded as much of her work as possible in primary source documents (sources disclosed at the end of the work) and filled in with imagination what remains unknown in the historical record. The fact that this work was conceived more than 20 years before DNA tests virtually confirmed the premise that this book is written on (that Thomas Jefferson had a long term sexual relati [...]


    4. This is a historical novel, very well researched and based on actual events. This book was the most tragic of love stories and an excellent depiction of the life and times of the Jefferson Administration.I felt very connected to Miss Hemmings but I can't imagine choosing to remain enslaved, even to stay with the man I loved. To watch her children "walk off" the plantation and go on to live as White Americans must have wrenched her heart, knowing that she could never see them again, lest it be re [...]


    5. Around page 247, I read this line coming from Sally Hemings, "A feeling almost of elation filled me. We had the power of love on our side. We were stronger and better than the monstrous iniquity we had sprung from." It was at the moment that this novel officially "jumped the shark" (although there were some pretty bad moments earlier in the book) from historical fiction to sappy, over-sentimentalized storytelling. A shame since it did seem rather solidly researched.


    6. This book is ideal for any book club meeting today. I must have first read this novel back in the late eighties--I picked it up after I read Chase-Riboud's book Valide (also good). This is a novel that has stuck with me over the years and I've kept a paperback version around in case I'd get around to re-reading. (I've only recently discovered the joy of rereading. Only Jane Austen warranted an annual rereading, but now that I've hit fifty, it is time to see what other books and authors have held [...]


    7. For all its flowery prose and seemingly passionate subject matter, this book fell flat for me. What drew Sally and Jefferson together? I still don't understand, other than the sexual relationship between white master and black slave being commonplace in that time. I found that the characters lacked dimension. Sally vacillates between being fervently in love with and despising Jefferson (as she should). But I didn't feel any reason for her changing emotions. I understood logically why she would b [...]


    8. Just couldn't get into it. It's so full of historical opinions, perspectives, and personal thoughts that seemed false to me.


    9. A little rough going in the beginning, well-written but not spectacular and the structure isn't perfect, but definitely worth reading because it is so insightful. Really brings home the "banal evil" of slavery and has given me a better understanding of the south. Interestingly, I don't think it was particularly insightful into Jefferson's character, but that perhaps was not the intent of the author. One of the interesting historical details is the inclusion of the George Sweeney murder trail. Sw [...]



    10. I finished reading Sally Heming last night. It was a truly exceptional work. There was a lot of research that went into the writing of this book. It's common knowledge, I believe, that our third President, Thomas Jefferson, had a 38 year affair with his young house slave, Sally Hemings. This author, Barbara Chase-Riboud, told us about his life, his trips, his love for Sally and brought us to his death.


    11. I have been struggling with my white privilege and have been reading history to find my place in the story. I'm glad I read this novel for its content and interpretation of events. Reads more like history than a novel. Can't imagine the idea of owning another human being, much less rationalizing it in any way. The scars of those days continue to run deep in our culture. When and how will it end?


    12. I picked up this book because the musical Hamilton brought the name “Sally” to my attention, and I wanted to find out more. This was a fascinating book - engaging to read and informative to the era. I read in other places that this author does a lot of research on her subjects, so I feel like I now how a bigger picture of who Thomas Jefferson was through the story of the slave he loved


    13. An interesting read and account of the life of Thomas Jefferson and his family through the eyes of his slave/lover/mother of many of his unrecognized children, Sally Hemings. Slavery is quite hard for me to understand, that anyone could think it was okay to own people. Yet he "loved" her.








    14. This is an account of the life of Sally Hemmings. She was a slave who belonged to Thomas Jefferson and with whom he had a long term relationship. It was a loving relationship, but only in private and only when it suited Jefferson. They produced offspring who are now recognized as relatives of Jefferson. It tells an interesting story, but got too long and slow for me. I didn't finish it.


    15. The story of Sally Hemings is an American classic. The suspected love affair between Thomas Jefferson and his slave is no secret, nor has it really ever been. The narrative has existed in whispered conversations, writings and films throughout history.Truthfully, Sally’s story isn’t at all unique; a slave owner who has a black slave as a mistress and fathers children with her. However, Sally Hemings, by Barbara Chase-Riboud tackles this American scandal with a sense of humanity. Riboud tells [...]


    16. This novel jumps around in different "eras" in the life of Sally Hemings. Usually I prefer non-linear storytelling, but the flow of this historical novel felt a little disjointed to me. I was most intrigued during the part of Jefferson's life that he spends in Paris, evidently when the intimate relationship between him and Sally Hemings first began. When the "family" and the story return to Monticello, the flow and pacing change dramatically. Perhaps this was purposeful, to reflect the dramatic [...]


    17. Reading this book felt almost surreal to me. I went on a field trip to Monticello once when I was a kid, and to be honest, I didn't know where I was. I was too young to understand the history, and too young to understand the things I was seeing and hearing. Even being mixed black myself, slavery was a hazy concept I couldn't fully grasp as a child.This book brought back memories of that trip in full clarity. The hot tobacco fields (how lucky we were with our water bottles and fans), the cramped [...]


    18. A controversial love story not always told. I enjoyed the historical aspects of this book and the complex blend of love and hate, and freedom and bondage when our young nation and its leaders were struggling to define "freedom". Who was Sally Hemings? A complex exceptional woman. History and humanity are often complicated. Haunting. I was left with much to consider.


    19. Quoting Voltaire, BCR says, "There is no History, only fictions of various degrees of plausibility." She goes on to say, "For history is nothing more than the human adventure as told by fallible humans, with all their prejudices and physchoses and visions, to the society which they serve," (p353-354). How aptly put. There has been much controversy over this suspected truth. Primary sources and DNA lend credence to the theory that Sally Hemings and TJ had a long standing relationship and several [...]


    20. This was an interesting read about Sally Hemmings, however it is fictional with the use of primary documents. The story the author has created is wonderful because its fitting to the primary documents she used. I found out new things about this antebellum period. For instance in Virginia I didn't know that runaway slaves traveled with Indian tribes northward to reach freedom. It was interesting how the author formed each character as well as there interactions with Sally. The book begins at the [...]


    21. Interesting fictional presentation of a very complicated relationship. However, although Barbara Chase-Riboud is a capable and thorough researcher and clearly did her homework, still, the operative word here is "fictional." I don't doubt the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings existed, but the danger when doing a work of historical fiction is in the taking of too many liberties and making too many assumptions. Chase-Riboud is, in my opinion, far too much in Sally Hemings's head given the [...]


    22. I became interested in Sally Hemings after seeing the television version of her romance with Thomas Jefferson. I had read bits and pieces of it prior to that. The book is fictional, based on some historical information that points to a "relationship" -- if you can call it that. Personally when it's between slave and master I call it rape. It's worth noting there was a scuttlebut about his DNA back in 2000. Inital results showed he only fathered one child. However, I did some googling recently an [...]


    23. Great Read!Love this book! Great insight into this part of history! Makes you feel a part of the American and French Revolutions!


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