Hamilton and Peggy: A Revolutionary Friendship Review


Hamilton and Peggy: A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliot is coming long after the Hamilton craze. From the cover and the title, I expected this book to be primarily about Peggy and Alexander’s friendship, but that was not to be.

           Peggy is the youngest of the Schuyler sisters and appears only in the first half of the musical (she died before the events of most of Act II). She is rarely mentioned even when she is present, mostly there just to fill out the lineup of sisters. This book seemed to aim to fix that by giving her agency and her own friendship with Alexander Hamilton.

           For a book called Hamilton and Peggy: a Revolutionary Friendship Alexander Hamilton appears very rarely within. It discusses his courtship with Eliza, Peggy’s older sister, and shows Peggy and Alexander meeting, but does not actually showcase their friendship so much as it is a historical fiction-biography combo of Peggy’s life during the Revolutionary War. Because little is known about Peggy’s inner thoughts—few of her letters survive—the author was forced to cover a span of many years in order to write an entire book. This is not clearly demarcated at times, and often lead to confusion when an event from the page before was referred to as having occurred months before. Despite this somewhat choppy style, it did give Peggy an interesting and fair consideration that she does not often receive.

           Aside from that and from the broken promise of the title, the book was full of good insights into Peggy’s life. She was a vivacious and dynamic character intent on helping out with the revolution in whatever ways she could. It also touched on real issues she would have faced, such as the men around her preventing her from aiding as she wished to and the beginnings of the medical issues that led to her early death.  This book gives a feminist spin to the Revolutionary War and shows how women may have contributed in ways that have not been remembered by history.

           If you’ve hit the limits of what is available for your Hamilton craze, I would definitely recommend this book. For those who are casual fans, Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz or Hamilton: the Revolution may be a better fit.