The Jefferson - Hemings ControversyHistory on trial Main Page

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"Does a man's sexuality atrophy at thirty-nine?" Fawn Brodie's 1974 psychobiography claims the Jefferson-Hemings relationship was not "scandalous debauchery" but "a serious passion" that brought them "much private happiness over a period lasting thirty-eight years." Sadly, though, it was Jefferson's "psychic fate . . . to fall in love with the forbidden woman." Critics take upstart Brodie behind the woodshed for such logically-absurd, sexually-obsessive, post-Watergate, Jefferson-belittling psychobabble and iconoclasm. But the public eats it up.