Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight languages. As Stephanie Draven, she’s a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women's fiction. Along with author Laura Kamoie, Dray co-authored the historical novel, America’s First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton (William Morrow Paperbacks).
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, America’s First Daughter (William Morrow Paperbacks) tells 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.
Dray is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.
Praise for Stephanie Dray’s Presentations:
"Our customers were thrilled to meet Stephanie Dray at the library, where she brought history back to life with humor, wit, and amazing attention to historical detail during a captivating presentation. Her discussion of research methods and primary sources was especially compelling, and revealed Eliza Schuyler Hamilton as a truly fascinating historic influencer. Stephanie's appearance at our library was the highlight of our summer event series!”
--Howard County Miller Branch
“Everyone had a great time--thank you so much! Looking forward to the new book!”
--Claire Dawson Talbot, Greece Public Library
“Entertaining, erudite, enthusiastic ... ability to make you feel in a private conversation though in a room of 50+ people.”
--Kathy Wasserlein, audience member
Praise for America’s First Daughter:
“America’s First Daughter brings a turbulent era to vivid life. All the conflicts and complexities of the Early Republic are mirrored in Patsy’s story. Breathlessly exciting and heartbreaking by turns-a personal and political page-turner.”
--Donna Thorland, author of The Turncoat
“Painstakingly researched, beautifully hewn, compulsively readable -- this enlightening literary journey takes us from Monticello to revolutionary Paris to the Jefferson White House, revealing remarkable historical details, dark family secrets, and bringing to life the colorful cast of characters who conceived of our new nation. A must read.”
--Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress
“[A] triumphant, controversial, and fascinating plunge into the complexities of Revolutionary America, where women held power in subtle ways and men hid dangerous secrets. You’ll never look at Jefferson or his legacy the same way again.”
--C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel
“Authors Dray and Kamoie have performed tireless research. Whether it’s detailing Patsy’s life as a debutante in Paris, where she dances with Lafayette and witnesses the first flickers of the French Revolution, or recounting the world of a Virginia plantation, they’ve done their homework.”
“This is a stunning historical novel that will keep you up late, hoping the engaging story never ends. Highly, highly recommended!”
--Historical Novel Society, Editor's Choice