I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott Kensington Books September 26, 2017

I, Eliza Hamilton
by Susan Holloway Scott
Kensington Books
September 26, 2017

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I, Eliza Hamilton

Beside the most timeless of heroes stands an exceptional heroine . . .

In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza—a fascinating, strong-willed heroine in her own right and a key figure in one of the most gripping periods in American history.

“Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness . . .”

As the daughter of a respected general, Elizabeth Schuyler is accustomed to socializing with dignitaries and soldiers. But no visitor to her parents’ home has affected her so strongly as Alexander Hamilton, a charismatic, ambitious aide to George Washington. They marry quickly, and despite the tumult of the American Revolution, Eliza is confident in her brilliant husband and in her role as his helpmate. But it is in the aftermath of war, as Hamilton becomes one of the country’s most important figures, that she truly comes into her own.  

In New York and Philadelphia, Eliza becomes a popular member of society, respected for her fierce devotion to Hamilton as well as her grace. Behind closed doors, she astutely manages their expanding household, and assists her husband with his political writings. Yet some challenges are impossible to prepare for. Through public scandal, betrayal, personal heartbreak, and tragedy, she is tested again and again. In the end, it will be Eliza’s indomitable strength that make her not only Hamilton’s most crucial ally in life, but his most loyal advocate after his death, determined to preserve his legacy while pursuing her own extraordinary path through the nation they helped shape together.

 

Interviews & articles

Giving Eliza Hamilton the Chill Legacy the Musical Denied Her by Illana Masad, Broadly/Vice

I, ELIZA HAMILTON Is Going to Be Your Next Hamilton Obsession by Kerri Jarema, Bustle

Author Q&A with Susan Holloway Scott by Kate Olson, The Loud Library Lady

Seven Reasons Why I, Eliza Hamilton Needs To Be On Your Reading List by Kailey Hansen, Theatre Nerds

Finding Eliza Hamilton BookPage Behind the Book with Susan Holloway Scott

Seven Brand-New Books Goodreads Members Can't Wait to Read Goodreads Blog

Fashion History Talks! In Conversation with Historical Novelist Susan Holloway Scott by Cassidy Zachary, The Art of Dress

Elizas in History: Two Real American Heroines BookPage Blog

Eleven Historical Fiction Novels by Women to Look Forward To This Fall by Sadie Trombetta, Bustle

XOXO Recommends: Our Fall TBR Pile, XOXO After Dark

Praise & Reviews

"Scott (The Countess and the King) stands to capitalize on the popularity of the Broadway hit Hamilton with this story of the founding father’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, who proves not only a passionate guardian of her husband’s home and children, but a protector of his legacy. “Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness,” Eliza writes at the opening of this novel, and Scott expertly handles the complex history and complicated romance, moving the personal and political plots briskly. The story follows Eliza’s head-over-heels love of the ambitious, gifted Alexander, through a marriage tested by his boundless energy and attraction to beautiful women, including Eliza’s talented and vivacious sister, Angelica; the grueling fight between the well-equipped British and ragtag Continental armies; the foundering Federalist union; and, finally, the emergence of a new nation after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. “I will see that he receives all the honor that is his due, and that he will always be remembered by the country he loved and served so well,” Eliza writes five years after Alexander was killed in a duel with political rival Aaron Burr. Readers will be captivated by the affecting portrait Scott has painted of Eliza as an American patriot who was witness and counsel to Alexander’s enduring legacy and a heroine tested by his romantic recklessness. “What you dismiss as gallantry might be perceived as more by others.... Think of how openly he flirts even with me,” Angelica warns Eliza. Yet Eliza acknowledges only the “true and lasting brilliance” of a husband who saw his own valor mirrored in her. “You crave liberty and have no more patience with injustice or tyranny than I,” he tells her, even as she realizes “that these dreams and glories exact a terrible price.”  – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"When she first meets Alexander ­Hamilton, a young aide-de-camp to Gen. George Washington, Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler knows he’s destined for great things. A passionate courtship against the backdrop of the American Revolution leads to a loving marriage, but Alexander’s ruthless ambition and lapses in judgment repeatedly threaten the pair’s domestic happiness. Prolific historical fiction novelist Scott (The King’s Favorite; Royal Harlot) tells the story of the famous couple’s relationship as well as of their involvement in shaping the fledgling Republic. The Hamiltons are undeniably a hot topic right now thanks to the Broadway smash Hamilton, and Scott’s detailed picture of Eliza will likely be of great interest to fans curious about the history that inspired the show.... VERDICT Scott’s devotion to research is evident, and those who enjoy learning about history through fiction should find this to be a rewarding take on a fascinating historical couple." —Library Journal

"While you’re waiting for Hamilton tickets, or if you’re obsessed with American history, this is the book to read this fall. Scott, well known for Colonial-set romances and historical biographies, brings a fascinating woman and tumultuous era to full-fledged life. The lavish details and meticulous research add resonance to Eliza’s voice as she relates the story of her marriage. The sensitive portrayal is a testament to the Hamilton’s abiding love and strong relationship, and proof of one woman’s courage. The even pacing works well, maintaining a calmness within the storm." – RT Book Reviews, ★★★★1/2 Top Pick

"In I, ELIZA HAMILTON, award-winning and bestselling author of 50-plus novels Susan Holloway Scott takes readers to the founding of America through the story of Elizabeth Shuyler (1757-1854)—who would become Eliza Hamilton, wife to Alexander Hamilton. Theirs is a complicated romance, set against the enthralling, well-researched backdrop of the birth of a new nation. Fans of the Hamilton musical and lovers of quality historical fiction, don’t miss this one!" – BookPage

"One of 11 historical fiction novels by women to look forward to this fall! It was practically love at first sight when Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of a respected general from a good family, first met Alexander Hamilton. Despite the unrest in their young nation, the couple marry and quickly become one another's closest allies and confidants. When the revolution is over and Hamilton becomes one of the country's most influential leaders, Eliza is by his side to support him not just as a wife and mother, but as an assistant and advisor. Despite the public scrutiny, scandals, betrayals, and tragedy, one of America's most famous couples stays together until the end and beyond. A fascinating look inside one of the nation's most complicated yet beloved romances, I, ELIZA HAMILTON is perfect for anyone who still has that Hamilton buzz." – Bustle.com

"I, ELIZA HAMILTON is a corrective to Eliza’s story in the musical, setting the record straight and reminding audiences that it wasn’t Angelica who helped create the Washington Monument; it wasn’t Angelica who created and helped take care of hundreds of orphaned children; and it wasn’t Angelica who worked hard to preserve her husband’s legacy. It was Eliza Hamilton who did all these things, and Scott’s book gives a compelling, nuanced, and beautiful look at her untold story." – Illana Masad, Broadly/Vice 

"Required reading for Hamilton fans, and highly recommended for all historical fiction fans and history buffs in general!....Scott manages to include incredibly detailed historical narrative along with her telling of Eliza’s story, beginning with the events where Eliza and Alexander meet. The romance and relationship are compelling enough on their own, but this book also serves as a primer on much of the Revolutionary War, sure to satisfy even the most stickler of history buffs." – Kate Olson, The Loud Library Lady, ★★★★★

"It was practically love at first sight when Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of a respected general from a good family, first met Alexander Hamilton. Despite the unrest in their young nation, the couple marry and quickly become one another's closest allies and confidants. When the revolution is over and Hamilton becomes one of the country's most influential leaders, Eliza is by his side to support him not just as a wife and mother, but as an assistant and advisor. Despite the public scrutiny, scandals, betrayals, and tragedy, one of America's most famous couples stays together until the end and beyond. A fascinating look inside one of the nation's most complicated yet beloved romances, I, ELIZA HAMILTON is perfect for anyone who still has that Hamilton buzz." – Sadie Trombetta, Bustle

"Our days of summer sun might be coming to an end but you don’t need to toss out that reading list quiiiiiite yet. Lucky for Theatre Nerds (more specifically “Hamilton” fans), there’s a new book hitting shelves this September based on the life of one Eliza Hamilton....Susan Holloway Scott’s latest read speaks for itself. I, ELIZA HAMILTON chronicles the life and impact of Alexander Hamilton’s leading lady. While the ten-dollar Found Father may be the centerpiece of our favorite musical, it’s no doubt that Eliza is a pretty epic heroine. This book sheds light on her complex marriage to George Washington’s right-hand man, as well as her extraordinary work in shaping our country....Whether you tackled all of the books on your summer reading list or not, you won’t want to throw away your shot to read Mrs. Hamilton’s inspiring story....Susan Holloway Scott is QUEEN!" –  Kailey Hansen, Theatre Nerds

"Susan Holloway Scott sheds a different perspective on the life of Alexander Hamilton in allowing us to see one of the Founding Fathers through the eyes of his devoted wife. Eliza comes through in a strong, clear voice.... Scott’s research is thorough, and she creates a wonderful story that breathes life into Alexander and Eliza’s deep love and romance, and how Eliza was the woman beside her husband. A must-read for Hamilton fans." – Historical Novelists Society Review

"With the recent popularity of Alexander Hamilton comes the much deserved interest in his wife, Eliza. We've heard so much about Hamilton's story (thanks to his endless writings), but Susan Holloway Scott has introduced Eliza's voice into the mix in I, ELIZA HAMILTON. This piece of historical fiction tells the true story of Eliza Hamilton in a narrative that captures both her kindness and strength." — Gillian Pensavalle, The Hamilcast: A Hamilton Podcast

"From the start, Eliza leaps off the page as a woman of her times. She is proud to support her husband and raise her children, because that was what she was raised to do. She was an excellent hostess, and knew what it was to be a soldier's daughter and a soldier's wife. The author does a phenomenal job in showing what her life was like, with her being concerned about making ends meet and keeping her family well and together. Eliza is not portrayed as perfect, she makes mistakes just as anyone else does.... The attention to detail, without dumping the reader with too much information at one time, is perfect. I learned a great deal about the time period that I didn't know before, which I always appreciate when I pick up a book based on a historical figure. For readers of historical fiction, this a must read." – Bethany Swafford,  More Than a Review, ★★★★★

"First off, this is no run of the mill, fluffy tale of historical romance.....The meticulous detail & avid research Scott has accomplished allows a gravitas to the exceptionally detailed historical narrative that our heroine gives, plunging you instantly into Eliza’s life, rife with scrutiny. Scott does a wonderful job at giving us just the right amount of insight into the minds of our two key players. Eliza loves Alexander through his early days as George Washington’s aide-de-camp, as his right-hand man, a soldier, as a representative to the congress of the confederation, as a lawyer, as the founder of the Bank of New York, as an active agent in ending the slave trade, and indeed every aspect of his career that he so voraciously fought for. She often writes his words as he narrates to her; she is his sounding board, his voice of reason & his own “sweet Betsey”.... The sweeping narrative prose is detailed without being overwhelming, the pace is just right, not allowing boredom to set in, and the characters are wonderfully diverse, rounded & engaging. History buffs will LOVE this book. Lovers of romance will LOVE this book. I LOVE this book." –Nina, Bird from an Egg, ★★★★★

"Susan Holloway Scott brings all her considerable expertise to I, ELIZA HAMILTON, and it definitely shows: I really enjoyed reading this more unconventional take on American history, and seeing Alexander Hamilton through a completely different lens. Holloway Scott plunges us straight into a living, breathing eighteenth-century America, where Eliza Schulyer, the daughter of a Dutch family, is living the American War of Independence before she meets Alexander Hamilton, the man who she’ll end up marrying.... Everything here is introduced in a completely natural way: it’s simply part of the characters’ lives. The author’s passion is evident in every word on the page- every part of this book has been meticulously researched, and it shows in everything from the events that happen in the story to the characters’ surroundings and daily lives.... Though the novel is narrated from Eliza’s point of view, the focus is mostly on her famous husband, who is sparky, charismatic and brilliant enough to merit his real-life achievements... It must have been fascinating researching and writing about him, and it was equally fascinating reading about him, but his private life with Eliza is given just as much focus as his achievements (flaws and all) creating a living, breathing person rather than an untouchable icon....The writing is engaging and watching Eliza and Hamilton, as well as their relationship, develop, is gripping and heartfelt. Holloway Scott steers the story with a confident, lyrical hand that makes it easy to read: I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a great historical read - or even just a good romance." – The Roaring Bookworm

"In I, ELIZA HAMILTON, award-winning and bestselling author of 50-plus novels Susan Holloway Scott takes readers to the founding of America through the story of Elizabeth Schuyler (1757-1854)—who would become Eliza Hamilton, wife to Alexander Hamilton. Theirs is a complicated romance, set against the enthralling, well-researched backdrop of the birth of a new nation. Fans of the Hamilton musical and lovers of quality historical fiction, don’t miss this one." – BookPages

"My favorite aspect of reading I, ELIZA HAMILTON was how hard it was to put it down! While we can tell through Eliza’s language that she’s an eighteenth-century woman, the writing felt modern and it was quite easy to understand Alexander’s dilemmas in the political world as he explains them to his wife. I read I, ELIZA HAMILTON over one of the busiest weeks of my fall semester, but you better believe I read at least fifty pages before going to bed each night. Speaking of Alexander and politics,  Susan Holloway Scott clearly illustrates is Eliza’s help to Alexander. Alexander would talk to Eliza about the problems facing Congress and the nation and look for her opinion, and Eliza would often help write and proofread Alexander’s various writings, from essays and correspondences to Washington’s Farewell Address. Amidst raising their family and helping her husband in any way she can, it was amazing to understand how strong of an individual Eliza was herself....If you love Hamilton, you will love I, ELIZA HAMILTON.... If you want find yourself belting out “Helpless” or “Burn” and needing more Eliza, you will love I, ELIZA HAMILTON. And most of all, you will love Eliza Hamilton for the hero she is." – Haley, Fangirl Fury

"I have been in love with Alexander Hamilton like everyone else since listening to Lin-Manuel’s HAMILTON. And my favourite of all the characters is Eliza. I love her so much....Naturally, when I saw that there was a novel coming out told from Eliza’s POV about their relationship, I knew I needed to read it. And oh my God, I am so glad that I did. I, ELIZA HAMILTON is such a beautiful retelling. You can tell that the author has done such in depth research about their lives and the times. It was so vivid that I felt like I was there with them and the emotions behind Eliza was incredible. It’s written as if Eliza was writing in her diaries about her life throughout her life.... It was just so beautifully written....I could forever keep rambling about how much I loved this book. But I’m just going to mention one last thing I adored: the afterword. The author recaps how Eliza spent her final years and oh my God, I fell even more in love with Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. She is the strongest, most amazing founding mother ever and I just adored her. I can honestly see myself rereading this book again and again. I loved it that much." – Charlotte, CAHWrites ★★★★ 1/2

"The struggle with fictional historical biography is that we all know how it ends. Nobody walked into Titanic thinking the ship might just make it. So, I knew, in the end, Alexander Hamilton’s life would end abruptly. It is no easy feat to create a novel based on such well-known history and, especially, for a much maligned character like Alexander. Yet, [in I, ELIZA HAMILTON], Scott created a character in Eliza Hamilton that made me feel the desperation of the early years of the nation when we were just a collection of states with no strong federal government. She made me feel the outright indignation of the attacks Hamilton endured, and Eliza as well, from those who did not like him or his ideas. She also made me so angry at Alexander Hamilton at moments. Scott also captured the close relationship between Eliza and Hamilton. She was his sounding board, his confidante and often the person to pen his final drafts of important documents. In addition, she kept a mercurial personality grounded. She was the backbone of their marriage and spent her life making his dreams of government service possible. I can’t imagine the strength this takes. I, ELIZA HAMILTON is a great fictional historical biography." – Courtney Marquez, Creating Myself One Word at a Time ★★★★★

"I am passionate about reading historical biographical novels about the lesser known women of history...So I was thrilled to read about Eliza Hamilton, a woman deeply in love with one of the most brilliant writers and politicians in the time of George Washington and Benedict Arnold. The novel begins with the start of a strong physical and emotional chemistry between Eliza and Alexander Hamilton, a ruthless soldier and military aid. The author has researched this era completely, putting together a tale true to the times, complete with the actual politics and politicians and famous personages. What results is a true picture and analysis of the times. But beyond the political atmosphere, we meet a strong, determined woman who loved her husband, with all his qualities and faults. There is much to laud about this wonderfully told story through the point of view of a determined, supportive woman who stood by her man despite scandals, political intrigue, and the financial struggles they faced. Highly recommended!" – Mirella Patzer, History & Women