I’m pretty sure Alice is the actual best for hosting this.
I’m going to start off my apologizing if I don’t get around to reading and commenting within the next few days – family is in town as you’re reading this because I’m becoming Mrs. Honeyman tomorrow and so yeah… stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some blog hopping on my phone from our hotel over the weekend or something.
Alright, so HAMILTON! Major thanks to all of you tweeting about it over the past couple months until I finally decided to figure out what the hell was up with Alexander Hamilton all of the sudden. I’ve listened to nothing but the cast recording in weeks. And now we have the biography to further the obsession. As I’m reading, every time I get to a part where it introduces someone/something familiar (Lafayette, Burr) I end up writing corresponding lyrics in the margin, which is basically why I bought my copy of the bio instead of getting it from the library.
Rather than going through what happens in these 5 chapters, I’ll touch on a few points.
- I don’t like how Chernow talks about Alexander’s mother, Rachel. He actually makes a “well in his defense” statement for her first husband’s completely shitty treatment of her.
- Chernow makes a statement early on about how Hamilton would come to be notable for his fierce abolitionism. It’s not something I ever really heard before the musical, and from what I can find via some light Googling, it appears that this is a relatively recent opinion – the former being that he kinda sorta supported the abolition of slavery, but only when it didn’t conflict with some other goal of his and that it wasn’t something he actually made a priority. Is this a case of him just looking really good compared to others of his time? I’m really hoping that Chernow goes into this and gives some good evidence of his “fierce abolitionism” later in the book. I really want that to be true.
- On pg. 24, we find out that young Hamilton had access to 34 books – that is a very specific number.
- Hamilton was hella FLIRTY when he was young.
- Did Hercules write a lot about Hamilton after he died or something? I felt like I saw a lot of quotations from him during these five chapters, almost like Chernow was interviewing him. Is Hercules Mulligan a time traveler?
- Just listening to the cast recording, I had no idea Hamilton was this damn unhealthy all the time. People who’ve seen the play – is that touched on during a not-singing part?
- Chapter 5 ends with Conway being shot in the mouth and living, which Lin-Manuel Miranda confirmed on Twitter is where the “John should’ve shot him in the mouth” line comes from in “Meet Me Inside”. Yay.
And I guess that’s all for right now. I’m looking forward to getting to more of the meatier stuff. I’m also realizing that I probably don’t read many biographies because I don’t love all of the conjecture and guesswork involved. There’s a lot of “this line in this letter could have meant this” that I find frustrating. Maybe I’ll get used to it.
Onto the next section! Which hopefully I will have time to read sometime during the honeymoon so I’m not late with my next post. Very much excited to possibly get to the Schuyler sisters and possibly more ” And Hercules Mulligan said…”.