Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest for a More Perfect Union
From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
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A general’s daughter…
Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.
A Founding Father’s wife...
But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution…
When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…
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The fashion was now all empire waistlines and sheer fabrics à la Grec, which would have left me feeling naked without gloves and shawl. “I am dressed to be seen in society, sir!”
With the tip of his quill pen, he flicked my flimsy shawl to the floor. “And now you are not.” He gave his most irresistible smile.“Your country needs you. I need you. You are my good genius of that kind which the ancient philosophers called a familiar.” His eyebrows nearly waggled. “And you know that I am glad to be, in every way, as familiar as possible with you.”
Smitten by his flirtation, I gave a helpless shrug. “Oh well, for the country then . . .”
I forgot about the dinner party. I forgot everything but the familiar thrill of matching minds with the man I married. “Not that line,” I remember telling him. “That business about the ignorance of facts and malicious falsehoods will be taken harshly.”
“That’s the president’s line, not mine,” Alexander protested.
“Nevertheless, it portrays him as a partisan in the mud,” I argued, and our debate went well into the night. In truth, it went on for days as Alexander worked on the address, scribbling words and crossing them out.
Eventually, he removed the line to which I objected. That and many others, taking into consideration my suggestions, leaving me awed with the magnitude of the masterpiece. I knew, even then, that the Farewell Address was a moving and worthy tribute to the United States and its people. A plea for unity. A statement of purpose and guidance for the nation George Washington helped bring into being.
And because of Alexander Hamilton, I had the great and everlasting fortune to be a part of its shaping.
Stephanie Dray is a New York Times bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into multiple languages, illuminating women of the past so as to inspire the women of today. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital.
Laura Kamoieis a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, and the author of two nonfiction books on early American history. Until recently, she held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction under the name Laura Kaye, also a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels.