Eliza Hamilton
From the New York Times bestselling author of Irena’s Children comes a comprehensive and riveting biography of the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days. Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton—Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife—in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story. A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Eliza had many sides—and this fascinating biography brings her multi-faceted personality to vivid life.Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of The Wife of Alexander Hamilton follows Eliza through her early years in New York, into the ups and downs of her married life with Alexander, beyond the aftermath of his tragic murder, and finally to her involvement in many projects that cemented her legacy as one of the unsung heroes of our nation’s early days. Featuring Mazzeo’s “impeccable research and crafting” (Library Journal), and perfect for fans of the richly detailed historical books by Ron Chernow and Erik Larson, Eliza Hamilton is the captivating account of the woman behind the famous man.

Eliza Hamilton Details

TitleEliza Hamilton
Author
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781501166303
Rating
GenreBiography, History, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History

Eliza Hamilton Review

  • Katelyn
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this super readable biography of Eliza Hamilton. For anyone who can't get enough of the Hamilton craze, or just wants to learn more about a strong woman coming of age with America, this is a great read.My one caveat is that it's told in such a wonderfully readable style (it's not dry at all), that I was a little uncomfortable with the author authoritatively saying what Eliza's reactions to events, etc were. I wish there was more source material from Eliza herself. However, there's just s I loved this super readable biography of Eliza Hamilton. For anyone who can't get enough of the Hamilton craze, or just wants to learn more about a strong woman coming of age with America, this is a great read.My one caveat is that it's told in such a wonderfully readable style (it's not dry at all), that I was a little uncomfortable with the author authoritatively saying what Eliza's reactions to events, etc were. I wish there was more source material from Eliza herself. However, there's just so much you can know about someone and how they felt. I'm glad that I was able to read a biography about Eliza Hamilton. I'd love more on the Schuyler sisters.
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  • Margaret Sankey
    January 1, 1970
    Mazzeo explores the life and context of Eliza Hamilton--her family network of wealthy Dutch patroons, the American Revolution, her sketchy in-laws (Angelica and Cornelia picked creeps with whom to elope), the financial boom of the 1790s, Hamilton's status as an outsider favorite of the Washingtons and user of the Schuyler network, the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and the four decades of widowhood and philanthropy. This is well-researched, but popularly formatted with references in the b Mazzeo explores the life and context of Eliza Hamilton--her family network of wealthy Dutch patroons, the American Revolution, her sketchy in-laws (Angelica and Cornelia picked creeps with whom to elope), the financial boom of the 1790s, Hamilton's status as an outsider favorite of the Washingtons and user of the Schuyler network, the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and the four decades of widowhood and philanthropy. This is well-researched, but popularly formatted with references in the back, which makes weighing the author's interpretation of things difficult, especially an assertion that the Maria Reynolds affair was cover for financial scandal, not a sexual infidelity.
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  • Joelle
    January 1, 1970
    This was an intriguing glimpse into the lives of Eliza Hamilton and her Revolutionary peers. I’m glad that while this is a biography of Eliza there was a plethora of information about the people who influenced her life and times. I’ve seen plenty about Eliza’s relationship with her husband and sisters, but this book gave me a much more complete picture of her life. I was fascinated by the historic figures she interacted with as well as her unique part of establishing the United States of America This was an intriguing glimpse into the lives of Eliza Hamilton and her Revolutionary peers. I’m glad that while this is a biography of Eliza there was a plethora of information about the people who influenced her life and times. I’ve seen plenty about Eliza’s relationship with her husband and sisters, but this book gave me a much more complete picture of her life. I was fascinated by the historic figures she interacted with as well as her unique part of establishing the United States of America. I highly recommend this biography to American history enthusiasts as well as fans of Hamilton. *I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    The author used research which she then fleshed out into the story of Eliza Hamilton's life. The beginning of the book was about her childhood and then about a third of the way through the book, the scandals started. If you like books about the ways of the world in those days with the balls and the limited opportunities for women, you will enjoy this book. If you liked the musical, then you may be interested in this.I'm not a fan of reading most historical tales, whether fiction or non or of rea The author used research which she then fleshed out into the story of Eliza Hamilton's life. The beginning of the book was about her childhood and then about a third of the way through the book, the scandals started. If you like books about the ways of the world in those days with the balls and the limited opportunities for women, you will enjoy this book. If you liked the musical, then you may be interested in this.I'm not a fan of reading most historical tales, whether fiction or non or of reading stories set in this era. It was good for what it was and my rating is based on my interests.(I received this in a goodreads giveaway.)
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  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    Unputdownable! I had so much fun reading this biography. The author is one of those writers who makes everything so fascinating you're constantly going to back and forth to Google to learn even more about some cool thing you just read in the book. I have to look up what else Tilar Mazzeo has written.
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  • Jen M
    January 1, 1970
    "Best of wives and best of women." This was an immensely readable biography. Mazzeo's writing style creates the immersive reading experience of a good novel. While this at times requires her to take certain liberties and to speculate (the book opens, for example, with Eliza blushing in response to a letter she received from Alexander Hamilton), she does seem to draw from what is known as much as possible. Eliza's thoughts and feelings, while not always documented, can often be inferred from lett "Best of wives and best of women." This was an immensely readable biography. Mazzeo's writing style creates the immersive reading experience of a good novel. While this at times requires her to take certain liberties and to speculate (the book opens, for example, with Eliza blushing in response to a letter she received from Alexander Hamilton), she does seem to draw from what is known as much as possible. Eliza's thoughts and feelings, while not always documented, can often be inferred from letters she exchanged with Alexander and others. All in all, some speculation, within reason, can certainly be forgiven in the service of crafting a fleshed-out image of a woman so long lost to history. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the biography is Mazzeo's treatment of the Maria Reynolds incident, wherein she questions the commonly accepted version of events, made famous once again by the musical Hamilton. The affair is often treated as fact, but Alexander and Eliza's contemporaries were far from in agreement as to the truth of the matter. Was Alexander simply a cheating husband or was the whole affair a cleverly crafted ruse to cover up the illegal financial activities of which he was suspected at the time?Mazzeo argues for the latter. I won't go into detail, as the book will surely handle the material more elegantly than I could here, but one interesting question raised is this: If Alexander had love letters from Mrs. Reynolds to substantiate the affair, as he claimed he did, why would he not produce them? He printed transcriptions of the supposed letters in his pamphlets on the matter, but refused to produce the original documents. Mrs. Reynolds, who vehemently denied the affair, was willing to submit to a handwriting comparison in an attempt to clear her name. Alexander refused. This is just one piece of the puzzle which leads Mazzeo to conclude that Alexander's real crimes were financial, not romantic. If I had to name a weakness in this book it would be this: Alexander looms quite large in Mazzeo's recounting of Eliza's life. Yes, he was her husband, but Eliza lived to a ripe old age and had half of her life ahead of her at the time of his death, years which were filled with joy, sadness, and endless public works. Eliza was so much more than Alexander's wife. However, her accomplishments are by no means completely ignored. The book goes into detail about Eliza's involvement in founding New York's first private orphanage, as well as her involvement in public education. Children were Eliza's passion, particularly orphans, a focus likely sparked by Alexander's humble origins. Mazzeo paints a portrait of a strong and compassionate woman. This is a beautiful and well-researched piece of work which shines a well-deserved spotlight on one of US history's most interesting women. The flowing prose makes this an excellent read for fans of biographies as well as historical fiction, and, of course, fans of Hamilton. 
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  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    This was an enjoyable glimpse into the life of Eliza Hamilton. If you are a fan of the musical Hamilton and want to know more about the life of the woman who married Alexander Hamilton then you will be interested in reading this book. This book is a straight-forward and well-written biography of the woman who finally gets her story told. Even though the book goes through her entire life, the majority of this biography is written about her time being married to Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was born This was an enjoyable glimpse into the life of Eliza Hamilton. If you are a fan of the musical Hamilton and want to know more about the life of the woman who married Alexander Hamilton then you will be interested in reading this book. This book is a straight-forward and well-written biography of the woman who finally gets her story told. Even though the book goes through her entire life, the majority of this biography is written about her time being married to Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was born in 1757 to a prominent family in New York. The Schuyler sisters were envied and wanted by many men to improve their status. The dynamics of the sisters and the Schuyler family is pretty interesting in and of itself. Her relationship with her sister Angelica is one of my favorite aspects of her story. They were the upper class of this new country and were held in such regard. The women knew their roles and played them accordingly. War was a constant in young Eliza's life and she was easily drawn to the enigmatic Colonel Hamilton. Alexander had said that Eliza was the, "best of wives, best of women" and you can see that while reading this book. She appears to have been a quiet woman who loved her husband more than anything. Mazzeo shows that Eliza was loyal to her husband and followed the examples of wives of royalty before her. Which makes sense as he was an intricate part of the building of our nation and she wanted the focus on him and not on her, as was typical for women during that time and prior. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Maria Reynolds/financial misconduct aspect that Mazzeo claims in her book. I just feel that Alexander would have had more money when he passed if he was truly doing something untoward financially. It's a new perspective and I give her credit for showing a different possibility to the whole situation. I also wanted a little bit more of her time after Alexander passed away. She lived such a long and productive life after his death. She was truly non-stop in her own way. Sadly, Eliza didn't leave us much from her point of view as she was not a writer and she burned most of her letters to Alexander. It would be amazing had she kept at least a few so we could really understand her love affair with him better. Which is why I found it interesting that Mazzeo would say that Eliza "felt" or "believed" throughout the book so much. I applaud Mazzeo for her research on Eliza's story. You can tell that she takes great care to give a voice to Eliza Hamilton. The women of that time period were amazing and steadfast. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it for those who want to know more about American history and the women who tried to make a difference. Yes, Eliza was quiet, but she was no less important than others of that time and accomplished and did many things in her life. *I received an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest review.*
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Overall a really good book. The writing is easy and the pace is good. This book is clearly written to follow the success of the musical. Not that this is bad, but Eliza did a lot and yet, most of the book focuses on her time with Hamilton. She lived 55 years after he died, yet that’s less than a third of the book. I felt sometimes events were rushed or toned down to give space to other events. Additionally I felt that historical events didn’t always get m I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Overall a really good book. The writing is easy and the pace is good. This book is clearly written to follow the success of the musical. Not that this is bad, but Eliza did a lot and yet, most of the book focuses on her time with Hamilton. She lived 55 years after he died, yet that’s less than a third of the book. I felt sometimes events were rushed or toned down to give space to other events. Additionally I felt that historical events didn’t always get mentioned. The focus was more on the people, which is fine but I’d like to have been able to follow Eliza a bit more with the historical events surrounding her. One a side note: The author does a lot of Eliza “felt”, “believe”, etc and without the footnotes (this early copy does not have them yet) I couldn’t tell whether it was more of what the author knew or believed. Although I had some issues I did learn a lot, and I liked the book. 3.5 stars rounded to 4.
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  • Raine
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautiful book, well written and has been really researched! I appreciate the fact that Mazzeo also includes her footnotes at the end of the book! I will be interested to look through her research and learn more about the Hamilton's as well as others living during this time.I love to read about history but at times it can be a bit dry and hard to get through. Mazzeo keeps the reader engrossed in the book with not only Eliza's life challenges but also those in her inner circle. I'm sure This is a beautiful book, well written and has been really researched! I appreciate the fact that Mazzeo also includes her footnotes at the end of the book! I will be interested to look through her research and learn more about the Hamilton's as well as others living during this time.I love to read about history but at times it can be a bit dry and hard to get through. Mazzeo keeps the reader engrossed in the book with not only Eliza's life challenges but also those in her inner circle. I'm sure it would have been amazing as well as very scary, and incredibly hard living in this time as a woman! This book is well written, full of information not only on the main character Eliza but also what was going on in what we now call America. I look forward to reading more of Mazzeo's books.Keep up the great work!!
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  • Dede1948
    January 1, 1970
    I have read several books on Alexander, but none where the focus was on Eliza. The facts are there, but I found it hard to picture the scenes in my mind, not enough descriptive words. I will have to read another book on Eliza and compare notes. The story of Alexander’s infidelity is puzzling, when you compare it to Alexander’s biographies.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this book was my favorite from that genre! Loved the writing and the way the author makes the reader feel as though they are really there! If you love historical fiction, this book should be at the top of your TBR list!!
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  • Sandy Korom
    January 1, 1970
    Quite an informative and enjoyable reading experience
  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction is my favorite genre so this book was a joy to read and absorb.I won a copy of this book on GoodReads.
  • David V.
    January 1, 1970
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 7-5-18. Finished 7-12-18. First biography of Alexander Hamilton's wife Eliza. Well-researched(about 40 pages of notes), well-written. Tells the other side of the story including Hamilton's insider trading while head of the National Bank which benefited him, friends and relatives. Amazing how many members of their immediate and extended family died very young due to illnesses like yellow fever, typhus and influenza which were prevalent along the East Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 7-5-18. Finished 7-12-18. First biography of Alexander Hamilton's wife Eliza. Well-researched(about 40 pages of notes), well-written. Tells the other side of the story including Hamilton's insider trading while head of the National Bank which benefited him, friends and relatives. Amazing how many members of their immediate and extended family died very young due to illnesses like yellow fever, typhus and influenza which were prevalent along the East Coast. Eliza had the fortitude and resiliency to withstand and persevere through it all, including her husband's death in the famous duel with Aaron Burr. She had a very long life and worked tirelessly for many charities, such as starting the first public school in New York. A remarkable woman.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Eliza Hamilton by Tilar J. Mazzeo is an extensive biography of an extraordinary woman. It doesn't cover just her life with Alexander Hamilton, but her life before and her work after. I was surprised and impressed. I learned a lot about a woman I knew little about. I would recommend this to any history fan. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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