I, ELIZA HAMILTON - REVIEW
I have spent this week reading the amazing - 'I, Eliza Hamilton' by Susan Holloway Scott. I was at once interested by the book, knowing very little about Alexander Hamilton's wife but not only wanting to learn more about her but also the American Revolution. I also only knew that Alexander Hamilton was a great man high in favour of the President Washington and also a very superior statesman and Founding Father of the United States. This book, which is historical fiction, really improved my understanding of life for Eliza and women like her in the 18th Century.
I really liked the introduction to the story, which sets the scene of Eliza and Alexander's romance.This beautifully written book introduces us to the young Eliza Schuyler who is a thoughtful, intelligent and gracious woman, being brought up into a respected family. She soon meets and marries the witty and charming young Hamilton who her father warns her is an ambitious and powerful gentleman, yet destined for great things. Even her other family and friends warn her that Hamilton has had lovers before her and she should not be sure to marry him . However, despite what others tell her, Eliza is a strong-willed woman and is determined to marry Hamilton who she truly loves after winning her parents' consent.
I enjoyed the beginning of the novel due to the romance between Eliza and Alexander, as well as learning about Hamilton's military career and friendship with the General Washington.
The second section of the novel shows Eliza and Hamilton happily married and Hamilton's ever increasing ambitions and power, he creates firm enemies and although in favour of General Washington he can become disliked by the public of New York within a moment and then honoured the next.
Although he promises to be loyal, kind and trustworthy he does not tell Eliza about everything he is planning to do all the time. He can become so ambitious that he does things that are not sometimes respectable. As a result, I learned more about Eliza's life as an independent and strong woman when she supports Alexander throughout his challenges as a statesman and first secretary of the treasury as well as caring for her many children. Alexander is a committed man to his work and published pamphlets and essays throughout his time in the Office. He was often in debt, as well as involved in disgraceful scandals and political intrigue. However, Eliza never neglects him and yet stands by his side, through times of despair and public humiliation, as well as times of social recognition for their family. She is a faithful wife and her devotion for Hamilton is excellently shown throughout the book.
Eliza is a brave, kind and charitable woman, she shows this by always giving to the poor and helping out widows. She is well-natured forgiving and faithful to Alexander Hamilton. I become to like her as a person at the end of the book, because she suffers so much and as does her family. The background information into her life and her sisters' is impressive and is reflected throughout the story when she meets them in Albany with their children.
The bestselling author, Susan Holloway Scott, has inevitably taken care into thorough research and excellently writes about the complicated marriage as well as expertly handling the complex history and politics as well. My only concerns were at some sections I could find it hard to comprehend due to the amount of political information being included in the text. However the author's ability to make me feel like I was involved and witnessing the events myself, as well as having the feeling that I had met the characters, was one of my favourite things about the story.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to anyone, it was a romantic and exciting story about Eliza's marriage. And towards the end of the last chapter, the speed of the book feels to increase as so many major events take place in Eliza's life. This book also included Eliza's personal thoughts about Hamilton's work. I think Susan Holloway Scott wrote it superbly due to the complex history at the time, and also the complicated marriage between Eliza and Hamilton. It really was an excellent novel and ideal for anyone interested in the politics of the United States and the powerful men who formed the country.
Thank you for reading this.