If you’re reading The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs with your book club, teen, or reading group, these discussion questions will help you develop a deeper understanding of the book and what you think of it.
- Hamilton lived his life by his sense of honor. How is that shown in the novel? Where does it fall short? What is honor today, and how valued is it?
- The book was very sympathetic to Hamilton. What would a story look like that was sympathetic to his enemies? What was your perception of Jefferson and Madison going into this book? Did that change?
- How did Elizabeth resolve her feelings about her husband’s affair? To what extent is this a reflection of the role of women at the time?
- How did Hamilton navigate the issue of abolition? What were his beliefs about it? What did he do for this cause? Was he successful in standing by his beliefs throughout the book?
- How do Alexander and Eliza evolve throughout the novel? Did they lose/find their voices? Achieve their goals? Change points of view on slavery? Become more or less fulfilled?
- In what did the Eliza and Alex each find fulfillment? How did their ambitions affect one another?
- The language used by the characters in dialog differs from language that they were actually likely to use considering the time. How did this contribute to the novel’s goal? How did this detract from it?
- What did you know about Hamilton going into this? Did that change as you read?