Book Review




By Elizabeth Cobbs


Hamilton Affair 9781628727203.jpgMore than two centuries have passed since Alexander Hamilton caught a fatal bullet from Aaron Burr in the famous duel on the banks of the Hudson River. Yet the enduring appeal of Hamilton’s revolutionary ideas and impassioned personality is stronger than ever, evidenced by popular sensations like Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and the record-setting smash Broadway musical Hamilton.


And while the Founding Father’s remarkable wife Elizabeth Schuyler has certainly been more than a footnote in the Hamilton legacy, the depth of her humanity and compassion—for her husband, for America, and for public service—has not yet been brought to life on the page… until now, in THE HAMILTON AFFAIR (Arcade hardcover, on sale Aug 2) by award-winning historical fiction and nonfiction writer Elizabeth Cobbs.


Focusing on the sweeping true love story between the enigmatic, brilliant General Hamilton and the feisty, adventurous Schuyler, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR is a pitch-perfect, faithful historical novel that casts new light on familiar events and reveals fascinating lesser-known aspects of Hamilton’s character.


Cobbs brings to the Hamilton-Schuyler courtship and marriage the same meticulous research standards and analytical eye that made her previous books American Umpire (currently being adapted into a PBS documentary) and Broken Promises: A Novel Of The Civil War praised by critics and enjoyed by readers.


With a vividly-imagined cast of iconic real-life characters including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR features a high-energy narrative of the intense events of the American Revolution and the pivotal role Alexander Hamilton played in them.


From Hamilton’s close relationship with his fellow soldier Washington to his bitter intellectual and ideological rivalry with Jefferson, Burr, John Adams and others, Cobbs never hits a false note in evoking the dialogue, mannerisms and sense of place that defined the era.


The book also delves into the origins of both main characters, exploring the roots of Hamilton’s lifelong opposition to slavery, beginning as an illegitimate child on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. Readers also will gain a sensitive understanding of how the death of Hamilton’s mother left a hole in his heart that he spent much of his early adulthood trying to fill.


In her rendering of Elizabeth Schuyler, a beloved daughter of one of New York’s most wealthy families, Cobbs takes a nuanced approach to depicting her intense attraction to and eventual love for Hamilton in spite of many obstacles – for one, the social stigma of marrying a “bastard” child, as well as his later infidelity.


Schuyler’s place in history as the only “Founding Mother” to embrace public service will be cemented by THE HAMILTON AFFAIR’s extensively portrayal of her empathy for orphaned children, first in petitioning Congress for veteran’s pay support in raising her and Hamilton’s children, and later in life opening New York’s first orphanage.


THE HAMILTON AFFAIR is a masterful interpretation of two incomparable American lives filled with drama, intrigue, conflict, rivalry, and love above all. While Alexander Hamilton may be having a pop culture “moment” of late, his life story and impact on America’s birth are timeless, and Elizabeth Cobbs’ best book yet is a unique and essential angle on both.




Elizabeth Cobbs, holds the Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History at Texas A&M University. She is the author of four books on American history and a winner of the Allan Nevins Prize. Her novel Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War won the San Diego Book Award. Her only non-fiction trade book, American Umpire, has been adapted into a documentary narrated by Jim Lehrer and will debut this fall on Public Television stations across the nation.






Historic scholarship and creative music have suddenly turned Alexander Hamilton into one of the hottest of the nation’s Founding Fathers.THE HAMILTON AFFAIR promises to turn up the heat even further. Elizabeth Cobbs’ superb novel about the many lives and perils of Hamilton and his wife Eliza adds delights and insights that are as fascinating as they are fun.  Think of it as a terrific—and must-read—companion to all things Hamilton.

Jim Lehrer, bestselling author


“With the expertise of an historian and the intimacy and immediacy of a gifted novelist, Elizabeth Cobbs plunges us into the cauldron of  love, war, betrayal, slavery, blackmail, revolution, dueling, and banking in which our nation was brewed—and delivers us into the conflicted heart of one of its most passionate and misunderstood heroes.”

Stephen Harrigan, author of The Gates of the Alamo, A Friend of Mr. Lincoln


If you want the authoritative biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow is the place to go.  If historical fiction is your preference, Elizabeth Cobbs has now written the Hamilton novel that immediately leaps to the top of the list.

Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers




By Elizabeth Cobbs

On Sale: August 2, 2016 | 9781628727203 | $25.99 hardcover

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