Dray, Stephanie, & Laura Kamoie. My Dear Hamilton. New York: William Morrow, 2018.
Hardcover | $26.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062819826 | 641 pages | Historical Fiction
I enjoyed My Dear Hamilton perhaps more than Dray and Kamoie’s previous effort, because while Patsy Jefferson was interesting as a woman who worked to preserve her father’s legacy, Eliza did so much more than that, being as much in the thick of all the political machinations of the founding of America as it was possible to be for a woman of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It was fascinating getting reasonably faithful insights into the all in-fighting going on between all the Founding Fathers, with the book even beginning with Eliza about to confront James Monroe again after all these years.
I like that it also acknowledges Eliza as her own person, in a way that many biographers, including Ron Chernow, and and other media commemorating Hamilton, like the Hamilton musical, do not. I was particularly struck by her responses to many of the key historical events later in the book, like how her emotional turmoil regarding the Reynolds affair and later her questions about Hamilton and Angelica’s relationship, as well as the way she ended up working to preserve his name and his ideas in spite of all of that, while also highlighting her own charitable contributions, especially later in life.
I enjoyed this one, and am now eagerly looking for more historical fiction set around the lives of the Founding Fathers. I recommend this to other fans of historical fiction, especially if you’re interested in women who contributed a lot more than they are given credit for and are left more to the margins of the stories of their famous partners.