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The Hamilton Affair: A Novel Paperback – June 6, 2017
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"Cobbs's depiction of Hamilton will endear him in the hearts of readers and shed light on one of the most misunderstood figures in American history and the woman who shared his life." --Publishers Weekly
"Author and historian Elizabeth Cobbs' fictionalized spin on the life of the founding pops and his better half, Eliza Schulyer, is a juicy answer to Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton..." --Cosmopolitan
"Although it's entering a crowded field of biographies, fictional or not, of various Founding Fathers, Cobbs' meticulous account holds its own--even without catchy tunes." --Kirkus Reviews
"If you want the authoritative biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow is the place to go. If historical fiction is your preference, Elizabeth Cobbs has now written the Hamilton novel that immediately leaps to the top of the list." --Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers
"The Hamilton Affair is a captivating historical novel from cover to cover, vividly recreating Hamilton's dramatic and inspirational life story. Highly recommended for both public library collections and personal or book club reading lists, The Hamilton Affair is all but impossible to put down." --Midwest Book Review
"Cobbs' novel presents a thoroughly researched portrait of the Hamiltons that makes you feel like you are in the room where it happened. It's a bouquet to obsessed Hamilfans, but this well-written novel is enough to keep the lay reader satisfied, too." --The Miami Herald
"Why did Alexander Hamilton risk everything? Why did Eliza Hamilton stand by him? This complicated couple who did so much for young America spring to life in this entertaining, well-told tale." --Cokie Roberts, author of Ladies of Liberty
"With the expertise of an historian and the intimacy and immediacy of a gifted novelist, Elizabeth Cobbs plunges us into the cauldron of love, war, betrayal, slavery, blackmail, revolution, dueling, and banking in which our nation was brewed--and delivers us into the conflicted heart of one of its most passionate and misunderstood heroes." --Stephen Harrigan, author of the bestselling The Gates of the Alamo and A Friend of Mr. Lincoln
"Historic scholarship and creative music have suddenly turned Alexander Hamilton into one of the hottest of the nation's Founding Fathers. The Hamilton Affair promises to turn up the heat even further. Elizabeth Cobbs' superb novel about the many lives and perils of Hamilton and his wife Eliza adds delights and insights that are as fascinating as they are fun. Think of it as a terrific--and must--companion to all things Hamilton." --Jim Lehrer
"It's been more than 200 years since Alexander Hamilton was as celebrated as he is right now. What a stroke of luck that an actual award-winning historian has come along just now with such a richly detailed and entertaining novel about the most freshly fabulous American Founder." --Kurt Anderson, author of True Believers
"Can't get tickets to Hamilton, the megahit Broadway musical? Don't despair, check out Elizabeth Cobbs' finely tuned fictional biography of one of America's most intriguing yet vastly underrated Founding Fathers. Born on the Caribbean Island of St. Croix, the illegitimate Hamilton survived impoverishment, the death of his beloved mother, and a devastating hurricane before emigrating to New York at the age of 16. Determined to better himself, the über-intelligent Hamilton attended King's College (Columbia University), where he excelled as both a student and as a leader. Hamilton's close relationship to George Washington, his friendships and conflicts with his fellow revolutionaries, and the rise and fall of his political star are all detailed, but it is his courtship of and marriage to the beautiful, vivacious Elizabeth Schuyler, a member of one of the oldest and most distinguished colonial families, that serves as the centerpiece of Cobbs' page-turning historical novel. Cobbs paints a portrait of a love so deep it was able to survive betrayal and a devastatingly public scandal. The focus alternates between Alexander and Elizabeth as their tempestuous tale unfolds in all its triumph and tragedy. Hamilton's true story is so fantastical, it is amazing that it has taken this long to transform his life and times into a national sensation." --Booklist *Starred review*
About the Author
Elizabeth Cobbs is a historian, New York Times bestselling novelist, and documentary filmmaker. She is the author of four books on American history and a winner of the Allan Nevins Prize. Her novel Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War won the San Diego Book Award.
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I confess – I was initially attracted to this book because of all the brouhaha about the musical. I was curious about the man that inspired such a massive hit, and knew little about him from my high school history classes. I prepared myself for a boring affair that I hoped might enlighten me a bit – what I got was a well-done and extremely interesting book about both Hamilton and his wife Eliza. Both viewpoints are covered in this book, and Cobbs takes great care to try and do justice to both. While the book portrays Hamilton in a positive light, and attempts to demonstrate just how unjust the characterization of him has often been, it also does not shy away from the damage he caused his wife and his family.
Regardless of one’s feeling about the man as a whole, it is undeniable that both he and his wife accomplished some amazing things in their lifetimes. Creating the Treasury department from the ground up, ensuring veterans were able to get back pay after the war that created our nation, and even the creation of the first private orphanage in New York – these things and many more can be attributed to these amazing individuals. Sadly, Hamilton never got a chance to tell his own story, and it appears that he truly gave his life in service of his country – for it was in that service that he made so many enemies, one of whom eventually killed him.
Overall, I really think this is an excellent book. It’s a great place for Hamilton newbies (like myself) to begin, and might even have a unique perspective on the man for those more familiar with him than myself. I highly recommend this book, and – as my highest praise – it has given me the desire to research its subject even more thoroughly than before.
I was hesitant to jump on the Hamilton craze that has followed the Broadway play, for fear that it wouldn't live up to its expectations, but this book was the perfect start to my new love affair.
The Hamilton Affair shows that life and love aren't always pretty, but you can either choose to sink into it's shallows, or stand up and hold strong.
If you are reading these reviews to decide if this book is worth it, please just click buy! I promise it will be worth it!
With the Hamilton craze happening right now because of the hit musical by the same name, The Hamilton Affair covers well-known territory. The viewpoints alter between Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, who he will marry in 1780. The Hamilton Affair follows the timeline of Hamilton’s life fairly faithfully from the time of his early childhood in the Caribbean to his death at the hands of Aaron Burr in a duel in 1804. Cobby uses letters, newspaper accounts, and journal entries to flesh out the story. She also adds some fictional characters, including Ajax Manley, a black Revolutionary War soldier who will become great friends with Hamilton and his family. Cobby doesn’t go into great detail about many aspects of Hamilton’s life, but she does try to show you what she felt both Hamiltons were thinking and feeling throughout their lives and especially, in their marriage. Maybe the author comes close to what actually happened, and maybe not. But she certainly helps us visualize what might have been.
One thing that was especially disturbing is how toxic the political situation was during Hamilton’s life. We may think that 2016 is pretty bad, but we have nothing on the infighting between Hamilton, Jefferson, Monroe, Madison and Burr.
The very sad part about Alexander Hamilton’s life is that because he was killed so young, those who outlived him have written their version of history, negating the genius of Hamilton and his wonderful contributions to our country. It has taken 212 years after Hamilton’s death, but he’s finally getting his due.
Telling the story through the life and times of his wife gives the book added insight to his personal life....She, too, was a woman destined to be remembered. .
There isn't one page of this that is boring. ..read it...you'll see