“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore
And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished,
In squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”
If your pre-Hamilton knowledge about Alexander Hamilton was relegated to knowing he was on the $10 bill, or that the Got Milk commercial back in the day, fear not! There has never been a better time to reacquaint yourself with one of our most brilliant (and randy) founding fathers. Historian and novelist Elizabeth Cobbs’ latest book, The Hamilton Affair, has everything you need to get your Ham and Eliza knowledge up to date.
The book alternates between moments in Alexander’s and Eliza’s lives, beginning with Alexander’s childhood. Fun fact: I texted my fellow Rat Queens, laden with feels, when Alexander wakes up to discover his mother has passed away, Julie – our resident historian – comforted me by responding, “Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden, half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick, and Alex got better but his mother went quick”. FEELS. We have them.
Ms. Cobbs put years of research into her book. Being a historian and a novelist gives her the unique talent of taking historical events and breathing life into them, inviting us to join her as she walks along an cobblestoned street in Olde New York, or runs through a wide, open space up in Albany, and tells us what she sees on her travels. She shows us Alexander’s and Eliza’s humanity; taking them down from their pedestals to show us the people, not the legends.
You will go through emotions reading this book, if you’re an emotional reader like I am. I stormed downstairs to demand whether or not my 13 year-old Hamfan son knew about the Maria Reynolds affair after I arrived at Alexander’s capitulation. Did I mention this happened at 11:30 at night, and that I pounded on the table and may have said, “How could he DO THIS to Eliza? How could he DO THIS TO ME?” (My son gently suggested I put the book down for the night and go to bed at this point.)
Long story short: The Hamilton Affair is brilliant. There’s history, war, and partisanship; there’s romance, betrayal, and tears. If you’re a Hamilton fan or want to be one, or you just love good writing, bring this book home TODAY. The Hamilton Affair is available now! What are you waiting for?