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Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton
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Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
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 musi
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Gallery Books
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  • Eliza Hamilton by Tilar J. Mazzeo
    Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton
    by
    Release date: Sep 18, 2018
    Speaking of unsung female heroes, have you heard of Eliza Hamilton?

    She was wayyyy more than just Alexander Hamilton's wife. A strong pioneer woman, a
    ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 50 copies available, 2541 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Oct 02 - Oct 21, 2018

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Heather Regardless of the reasoning behind it, but if you can't use a photo of the actual woman, you shouldn't use a photo. Using a photo of someone else on a…moreRegardless of the reasoning behind it, but if you can't use a photo of the actual woman, you shouldn't use a photo. Using a photo of someone else on a biography is insane when there are other options for cover art. (less)

    Community Reviews

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    Margaret Sankey
    May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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 ...more
    Katelyn
    May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: Hamilton fans, biography lovers
    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
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    Joelle
    Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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 ...more
    Heather
    Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
    Reading this was an absolute waste of time & I do not understand how the term "biography" can be attached to this. Biographical fiction? Yes. But this is not a biography.

    The way the author wrote this was incredibly frustrating, starting with the first sentence on the first page: "Eliza blushed. It was a beautiful letter." After reading the first page, I actually checked to make sure this was a biography and not another fictional account of her life. The rest of the book continued this way,
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    Holly
    Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
    This is a hard one to rate, simply because I almost feel like it should be under historical fiction rather than Biography. I know there are not a lot of source materials from Eliza herself, but I did not like how the author would infer or state things about Eliza that she actually has no way of knowing. For example, saying that Eliza blushed. Really? How did she know that? I think the author took a lot of leeway. Also, the theory the author raises around the Maria Reynolds scandal is interesting ...more
    Kathleen
    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
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    Michael Denton
    Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
    It’s a quick read but you quickly tell that the author makes up for the lack of source material on Eliza by filling in the blanks herself. While it’s nice to have the perspective of Eliza and what was going on at home for Alexander there are many times where the read has to ask “how would this author know that?” This would be fine except for her main theory on the Reynolds Pamphlet. This argument is poorly made and relies solely on interpreting Eliza’s behavior instead of attempting to make an a ...more
    Stacy
    Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    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.
    Melissa
    Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I've been so curious about Eliza's story and this is an amazing biography of her.
    Tanya
    Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
    I have stayed somewhat clear of the mania around Alexander Hamilton these last few years, but I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I just happen to be in possession of tickets for "Hamilton" in Chicago for next month, so it was time...

    I recognize that the book I read is an advanced reader's copy, but it seems to me a fair amount of editing still needs to be done. I found countless mistakes, errors in the genealogical chart at the front of the book, and got a sense that the last chap
    ...more
    Jenna Bookish
    Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    "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
    ...more
    Sally
    Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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
    ...more
    Irina
    Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Let me start by saying that biographies are not my go to genre. I happen to win this ARC in a giveaway and was curious about the wife of A. Hamilton. We always hear and read about the men, but the wives of these men rarely share the spotlight. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book, I can't say enough good things about it. The written style is fluid, it was a pleasure to read. The author (Tilar Mazzeo) is able to capture the gist of everyday life for Eliza without burdening the reader with m ...more
    Ryan Macnair
    Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
    This is an easy to digest, well written biography that bring to light the story of someone whom most people who saw the musical Hamilton instantly liked. That being said, some of the sourcing is a bit dodgy as many conclusions had to be made based on only one side of the conversation as Eliza most likely did not write letters often (of those she did write, she burned many) and did not keep a diary. That doesn't mean its necessarily incorrect, but the author makes some choices to portray events a ...more
    Jackie
    Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: giveaways
    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 ...more
    Raine
    Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    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
    ...more
    Wolfgang
    Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Fascinating read. Mazzeo has a much different take on the Maria Reynolds affair than does Chernow. Frustratingly confusing that the Schuylers and their extended family name their progeny with about only three first names per gender. There are a few places that could use some editing (Peggy’s husband is always “the patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer”, the year of Philip Hamilton’s death in the very helpful and necessary family tree in the beginning is incorrect), but I learned a great deal. Reads lik ...more
    Stu Wilson
    Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
    This is a very well put together book, easy to read, with great information about the family of Eliza and of course her life with Alexander Hamilton. I enjoyed the back story of the Scuyler family as much as the Hamilton connection because this was new information for me and painted a picture of colonial life and times for another leading family of America that gets little attention. I would definitely recommend the book.
    Tehila
    Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    This is a well-researched and well-written biography of a fascinating woman. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in strong women, U.S. history, &/or just having a really good read in their hands.

    The only reason it took me so long to finish is that in the interim I’d received a double stack of library books (including two written by Ms Mazzeo) that I needed to finish before their due dates.

    I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
    Bertha
    Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
    I'm not a big history buff but this book peaked my interest when I entered the contest to win a copy of this book.
    I found the book well researched and the story flowed from the first page. The one thing I didn't like was that two thirds of the book was devoted to Eliza and Alexander. The other third of the was about the approximately 55 years she lived after his death.
    This book would be a good read for those who love history or even those who are into the "Hamilton" craze.
    Tracey
    Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing

    I am not a fan of biographies, but this was incredible. It read like a novel. I learned so much about our founding fathers, but in a fun interesting way! The author was descriptive without boring the reader. The writing was easy and flowed quickly. All the characters were true to their own diaries, documents, and biographies.

    I recommend this to anyone interested in history!
    Dede1948
    Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
    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.
    Alexis
    Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arc
    I was given this book by NetGalley for an honest review.

    I chose this book because I had read Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and was intrigued by Eliza’s story. I really enjoyed Mazzeo’s style of story telling combined with facts. The book was well-researched and organized well.

    Fans of nonfiction will enjoy this well written book and will be left feeling proud of this strong woman from our history.
    Amy
    Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
    This was a very quick, and easily readable biography in that it read more like a novel in parts than nonfiction. I appreciate Mazzeo writing this long overdue first full-length biography of Eliza Hamilton and overall found it satisfactory. Oddly enough, the fact that it often read more like a novel was a bit of a detractor for me because it didn't always feel like it was written by an historian.
    Eric
    Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    * My wife raced through this in just a couple days. Alexander Hamilton is all the rage these days, so it's pleasant to see some attention paid to his wife's full story. A true hero too.

    * I received a free copy of the book in a Goodreads giveaway.
    Book Seller GV
    Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: brittany
    A revolutionary new look at the woman behind one of our favorite founding fathers. Mazzeo's detailed and emotional examination of Eliza gives insight to a woman too often marginalized by her husband's long shadow. A must read!
    Lisa
    Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    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!!
    Lois Sittu
    Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
    The biography of Eliza Hamilton tells about the remarkable life of the wife of Alexander Hamilton. You will come away with an immense respect for this woman not only for the love and support she gave her husband but for the hardships she endured as a young mother and widow.
    Sandy Korom
    Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Quite an informative and enjoyable reading experience
    Roxanne
    Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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.
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    129 followers
    Tilar J. Mazzeo is a cultural historian, biographer, and passionate student of wine and food culture. She divides her time among the California wine country, New York City, and Maine, where she is a professor of English at Colby College.

    (from the author's website)