A story about the marriage and endearing love between two people obviously meant for each other. An inspiring, fictionalized tale of Alexander Hamilton's wife Eliza  - told from her point of view.  Great details of our nation's beginning. Incredible insight into Alexander Hamilton, the man, the father the husband. I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott. #historical-fiction, #reading, #books to read, #books

I, Eliza Hamilton

By Susan Holloway Scott


PBR Book Review:

I loved this book for several reasons. To start with, Eliza Hamilton was a strong woman, and strong, inspirational women get me every time. I also love reading about the role women played in different eras and the contentment they felt for their place in life. I don’t always sense that same contentment in today’s women, and I like to puzzle the why of it. I’ve also been immensely interested in Alexander Hamilton ever since I went to see the musical HAMILTON on Broadway, which was one of the most riveting plays I’ve seen.

This story revolves around Eliza, but in doing so, Scott gives the reader some astounding historical details of our Founding Fathers and the trials of how our country came to be, with a strong focus on Alexander, who was a committed, principled man. Wouldn't I just love to bear witness to what a man like Alexander Hamilton could do for today's divided country? I couldn't help but make comparisons to our current leadership. But most compelling was the marriage and love between Eliza and Alexander. From the start it’s obvious, they were destined to be together. Recommend.


Book Club Talking Points:

Eliza was a strong woman who was very much in love with her husband. This and the fact that she was a product of her times will make for great discussion. Alexander Hamilton was also a formidable man, and this story gives an intimate look at him as a husband, father and man. Some of the other Founding Fathers of America are also discussion worthy. Most will not be able to resist a comparisons to our current leadership - I know I couldn't.
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*Discussion Questions



1. What did you know about Alexander Hamilton as a founding father before you read this book, and how has your perception changed?

2. Eliza was very much a woman of her time in her devotion to her family and her husband. What do you think were her greatest strengths? Her weaknesses?

3. Eliza was the second of the three older Schuyler sisters. Do you believe being in the middle between her brilliant older sister Angelica and her beautiful younger sister Peggy influenced her? How?

4. Do you think Eliza ever truly regretted marrying Alexander?

5. Some historians believe that Angelica and Alexander had an affair. What’s your opinion?

6. Why do you think Angelica married John Barker Church? Do you think their marriage was a happy one?

7. After George Washington’s death, Alexander admitted that Washington had always been his “aegis” – his protector. Had Washington lived, do you think Alexander would have fought the duel with Aaron Burr?

8. If you were Eliza, would you have forgiven Alexander after he published the details of his affair with Maria Reynolds?

9. At the time Alexander proposed to Eliza, cynics believed he was marrying her only for her money and family position. What do you think?

10. Why do you think Alexander constantly courted physical danger and social disaster?

11. Alexander always believed in the truth, no matter the consequences. Do you agree, or not? Why?

12. Over the course of his life, Alexander was involved, either as a primary or secondary participant, in at least eleven duels or near-duels. Why was his honor so important to him?

13. Eliza strongly objected to dueling on both moral and religious grounds, yet not even she was able to persuade Alexander to stop. What could she have done or said differently to change his mind?

14. During the duel with Burr, Alexander apparently fired in the air, purposefully avoiding injuring Burr. Why do you think he did this?

15. Burr was said to have taken the duel very seriously, and reportedly practiced his aim and shooting for days beforehand. Do you think he intended to kill Alexander? Why?

16. Abigail Adams loathed Alexander. At one point, she wrote: “O I have read his Heart in his wicked Eyes many a time. The very devil is in them. They are lasciviousness itself, or I have no skill in Physiognomy.” What do you think she meant by this?

17. Alexander supposedly advised his son Philip before his duel to fire into the air as a way to satisfy his honor, but avoid murdering a man; this strategy led directly to Philip’s death. Do you think Eliza ever learned her husband’s advice to their son? Do you think he told her himself? What do you think her reaction would have been?

18. What aspects of 18th century American politics reminded you of modern politics?

19. It’s easy to take American democracy for granted. Did it come as a surprise to you to realize how much of what holds the U.S. together was created and put into practice by Hamilton? Did it change your perception of the United States, and what makes it different from previous forms of government?

20. Was Alexander Hamilton a hero? Was Aaron Burr a villain?

(Discussion Questions by Author)


Book Summary
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.
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