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Summary

From the New York Times best-selling 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 musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story. A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and, in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Eliza had many sides - and this fascinating biography brings her multifaceted personality to vivid life. 

Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton follows Eliza through her early years in New York, into the ups and downs of her married life with Alexander, beyond the aftermath of his tragic murder, and finally to her involvement in many projects that cemented her legacy as one of the unsung heroes of our nation’s early days. Featuring Mazzeo’s “impeccable research and crafting” (Library Journal), and perfect for fans of the richly detailed historical books by Ron Chernow and Erik Larson, Eliza Hamilton is the captivating account of the woman behind the famous man. 

©2018 Tilar J. Mazzeo (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Eliza Hamilton

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Engaging story. Throughly enjoyed it.

The narrator was engaging and had me hooked from the first chapter. I have always wanted to learn more about Eliza, and this filled in many blanks. Bravo 👏

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  • jmn89
  • 20-12-19

Eliza Deserves Better

For a supposed biography of Eliza Hamilton, the author spends an awful lot of time talking about other people, particularly her husband Alexander (and she spends an inordinate amount of time discussing a theory about the Reynolds pamphlet that based on my research no one else believes), and this is especially obvious by the fact that there is barely any time dedicated to her life after his death. She lived for 50 years after her husband's death and did a whole heck of a lot with that time, and yet, it barely gets a passing mention in this book about her. Mazzeo also apparently can't decide if she's writing a biography or a historical fiction novel, because she switches styles multiple times throughout, often stating as facts things that she can't possibly know to be true. The narrator did the best she could with what she had, but she didn't have much to work with, in my opinion. Eliza deserves better, and I hope to someday be able to read a truly well-researched and well-written actual biography or her.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 16-10-18

Eliza is a Fascinating Character

Great book overall, but the storytelling is not my preferred style. Very well done but I prefer my biographies to be heavy on detail and less focused on emotional scene setting. I'm sure much of that is due to the fact that much of the source material for her life is focused on Alexander and the other powerful men around her. I would have liked more detail about her exploits after Alexander's death regarding the orphanage, shaping the narrative of Alexander's biography, and other philanthropic work.

12 people found this helpful

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  • D Michaels
  • 22-03-19

Sparkling and sorrowful

A wonderful book! From her birth to death I felt like I was along for the ride of her life and got to peek in on the fancy balls and sorrows, everyday life and occasional scandals. Definitely recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 28-09-19

Brilliant exploration of an amazing woman’s life.

Having read (listened to!) biographies of Alexander Hamilton it was incredibly moving to hear the story from Eliza’s perspective. Mazzeo has delved deeply into the archives and posed some very different questions (and probable answers!) about what really happened between Eliza and her famous husband. Very well narrated too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Steele
  • 16-02-21

Great book!

I really enjoyed listening to this book! Great insight into a often forgotten, but important couple in our nation’s history!

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  • MimsB
  • 14-02-21

Worth the Read

Narrator was impeccable. Well written. Easy to follow. Couldn't wait to listen each day! Highly recommend.

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  • Christine
  • 29-12-20

Reads like fan fiction of the Broadway musical

NOT what I was hoping for. Reads more like historical fiction. The author fills in thoughts, actions, and emotions fkr everyone that are not possible to know. I realize that Eliza's youth is likely not well documented (although I did expect she and her siblings at least kept diaries and wrote letters?) but this book fills in far too much Disney-esque fiction. The insinuations about the Reynolds affair are just ridiculous. Insufficient documentation of her later years. It feels like fan fiction based on Eliza in the Hamilton musical on Broadway. The author should indicate such if that was the intent, but historical accuracy, like the musical, is not here.(The musical is far more clever, at least). There are beautiful, historically accurate biographies of ladies like Martha Washington and Mary Todd Lincoln, Eliza deserves better than this book. Waste of a lot of money.

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  • Living the Life
  • 31-08-20

I was Seeking Background Info

During COVID, I’ve watched the Hamilton original production on the Disney channel, 5 times. I became intrigued by Eliza and wanted to hear about her life with A Hamilton from her perspective. There were a few areas like her work with orphans, that I would have liked expanded, but overall I thought it provided the insight I was looking for.

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  • E. Dennis
  • 27-11-21

Beautifully Done Biography

Thank you Tilar Mazzeo.

Until the stage play Hamilton, I doubt anyone had ever heard of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. Yet, to me, in all of the written histories of America's founding mothers, her story has always been the most poignant and uplifting.

So, I was thrilled to find this wonderful biography of Eliza and hooked from the moment the amazing narration by January LaVoy began at Chapter 1. Beautifully written and researched, the book takes the reader on a journey, not only of Elizabeth Hamilton's life, but also of her life throughout the Revolutionary War and the new nation's construction. It takes us through the powder keg of politics of which Alexander Hamilton was right in the center, the scandals she had to face, and his tragic death in a duel. Yet, despite it all, she remained devoted to him and his memory, and lived fifty more years after his death keeping him alive through her memories, his official biography, and most importantly, the orphanages she founded.

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  • Janice S. Jackson
  • 10-09-21

Eliaza Hamilton

This was beautifully written and read. The history was Hopefully true.. I really enjoyed it.