Divided Affections: The Extraordinary Life of Maria Cosway, Celebrity Artist and Thomas Jefferson's Impossible Love Hardcover – Jan 10 2008
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's a biography about Maria Cosway, with some parts written in a dramatized dialogue. The parts that are "made up" are in italics so you can clearly tell them from the rest which i think was a nice touch. Maria Cosway had a very interesting life and the book is very entertainingly written, not boring at all. It really made you feel like you were there, and I just really liked it. I have yet to read all the notes at the back of the book but there are lots of them and they look very interesting.
A great book and highly recommended to anyone interested in Maria Cosway or fashionable 18th century ladies in general.
Maria Cosway was a Renaissance woman, not by virtue of her historical period, but by her many interests and her confidence to pursue them and be who she was in a time when such things were largely unheard of for a woman. Burnell has written with great scholarship, having obviously done exhaustive research on her subject. But what is unique is that in certain itallicized sections, Burnell seems almost to enter the heart, mind and soul of her 18th Century subject. It verges on a biography written from within the character herself. One almost wishes that Burnell had written the whole book in this way. Is this some psychic skill that future biographers will perfect?
The book is elegantly illustrated, with a care unusual in such books.
It is truly worthy of Maria Cosway, who would surely be pleased at this tribute to her.
After reading those available on Baroness Cosway, I still wonder about her actual emotional relationship with Mr. Jefferson. Considering the urbane correspondence between them and factoring in the overall mores of Paris at the time, it leaves one with an inability to really know the truth of the matter. This aside, I do wish their were more books on this fascinating theme. Kudos to Ms. Burnell for the effort. Lastly a note about the quality of the publication: it's done on beautiful paper with a fine binding and many high quality images.