John O'Loughlin was born in Salthill, Galway City, the Republic of Ireland in 1952 of mixed Irish- and British-born parents of Irish descent. Following a parental split while still a child, he was taken to England by his mother and maternal grandmother (who had initially returned to Ireland after a lengthy absence with intent to stay) in the mid-50s and subsequently attended schools in Aldershot, Oakham, and, upon the death and repatriation of his Galway-born grandmother, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey, where, despite an enforced change of denomination from Catholic to Protestant in consequence of having been put into care by his mother, he attended a state school. Upon leaving Carshalton High School for Boys in 1970 with an assortment of CSEs (Certificate of Secondary Education) and GCEs (General Certificate of Education), including history and music, he moved the comparatively short distance up to London and went on to work at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Bedford Square, where, after a lengthy period as a general clerk, he was promoted to clerical officer grade one with responsibility for booking examination venues throughout the UK. After a brief flirtation with further education at Redhill Technical College back in Surrey, where he had enrolled as a history student, he returned to his former job in the West End but retired from the ABRSM in 1976 due to a combination of factors, including ill-health, and proceeded to dedicate himself to a literary vocation which, despite a brief spell as a computer tutor at Hornsey YMCA in the late 1980s and early '90s, he has effectively continued with ever since. His novels include Changing Worlds (1976), Cross-Purposes (1979), Thwarted Ambitions (1980), Sublimated Relations (1981), False Pretences (1981) and Deceptive Motives (1982). Since the mid-80s Mr O'Loughlin has exclusively dedicated himself to philosophy, his true literary vocation, and has penned more than sixty titles of a philosophical nature, including Devil and God - The Omega Book (1985-6), Towards the Supernoumenon (1987), Elemental Spectra (1988-9), Philosophical Truth (1991-2), Maximum Truth (1993), and, more recently, The Centre of Truth (2009), and Musings of a Superfluous Man (2011).
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.