Jefferson and the Iconography of Romanticism
This is the first full-length study of Jefferson's role in establishing an iconography for the newly emergent United States of America. He invented an idealised image of an originary American people, their relation to their homeland, and of the culture which defines the national being. He is, thus, both a founding father for the USA and for the development of subsequent romantic nationalism in Europe. His villa at Monticello especially was intended to act as a permanent model for the cultural ideals of the new nation. Jefferson and the Iconography of Romanticism explores in detail the national iconography of Monticello. It contextualises the villa in relation to Jefferson's earlier explorations of American identity; examines the attempt to establish at Monticello fixed signs of the myth of the fourth of July during the return of La Fayette in 1824; and, finally, shows how Monticello became a site of contention in the definition of what it is to be American.