The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

by Susan Holloway Scott

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Inspired by a woman and events forgotten by history, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott weaves together carefully researched fact and fiction to tell the story of Mary Emmons, and the place she held in the life—and the heart—of the notorious Aaron Burr.
He was a hero of the Revolution, a brilliant politician, lawyer, and very nearly president; a skillful survivor in a raw new country filled with constantly shifting loyalties. Today Aaron Burr is remembered more for the fatal duel that killed rival Alexander Hamilton. But long before that single shot destroyed Burr’s political career, there were other dark whispers about him: that he was untrustworthy, a libertine, a man unafraid of claiming whatever he believed should be his.
Sold into slavery as a child in India, Mary Emmons was brought to an America torn by war. Toughened by the experiences of her young life, Mary is intelligent, resourceful, and strong. She quickly gains the trust of her new mistress, Theodosia Prevost, and becomes indispensable in a complicated household filled with intrigue—especially when the now-widowed Theodosia marries Colonel Aaron Burr. As Theodosia sickens with the fatal disease that will finally kill her, Mary and Burr are drawn together into a private world of power and passion, and a secret, tangled union that would have shocked the nation . . .
Praise for I, Eliza Hamilton
“Scott’s devotion to research is evident . . . a rewarding take on a fascinating historical couple.” 
Library Journal 
“Readers will be captivated.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Packed with political and historical as well as domestic details.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496719195
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 11,479
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Susan Holloway Scott is the author of over fifty historical novels. Writing under several pen names, she has received numerous awards and critical acclaim for her bestselling books. Over three million copies of her books are in print, and her work has been published in nineteen foreign countries and translated into fourteen different languages.
A frequent speaker at museums, colleges, and historical sites, Susan also maintains a world-wide following on social media through her blog, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. She is a graduate of Brown University, and lives with her family outside of Philadelphia. For more information about Susan and her books, visit her website at

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The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
FHlady 21 days ago
Intriguing from start to finish, this historical romance about a little known woman captivated me from start to finish. Mary Emmons started life in India as the Mulatto baby, Veeya, the child of an Indian woman raped by a British soldier. Her mother dies at birth, and Veeya is left with an uncle who despises her because of her mixed race. She is sold off at the age of 8 to a French lady and begins her life of servitude that takes her from India to Santo Domingo and finally to the United States where she becomes a slave to Major Provost and his wife with her name changing from Veeya to Eugenie, and finally to Mary. Mrs. Provost hosts many of the pre-Revolutionary greats from both sides while her husband is on assignment including Aaron Burr who weds Theodosia Burr after her husband's death and changes Mary's life forever. Aaron Burr often considered a villain for his slaying of Alexander Hamilton in a duel was also was a war hero, a brilliant lawyer, a devoted father, a skilled politician who very nearly was elected president, and became Jefferson's Vice President. But he led a secret life that has only come to light recently due to the new advances in DNA. Mary, who married Lucas Emmons who was one of the Black Americans who died in the Revolutionary war, became the love of Burr's life even while he was married to Theodosia Provost Burr. They shared two children a boy and a girl who both left a legacy of fighting for black rights. Mary Emmons was a survivor who learned to read and write and spoke English, French and Tamil and left a legacy that her descendants can be proud of. Scott brings her to life in this fascinating book along with the pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary era and all of the famous characters involved. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review
MyBookAddictionandMore 3 months ago
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Shirley Holloway Scott is a tale woven with fiction and facts. A Bibliography Historical Romance. Told in first person, in Mary's POV. This is the story of Mary Emmons, and Aaron Burr. Mary was sold into slavery, as a child in India, she was ill-treated and misused, she was brought to a war torn America, eventually. She was toughened by her experiences of her young life, but Mary is intelligent, her strength, and resourcefulness, help her to survive. The notorious Aaron Burr, is known more for the fatal duel where his rival Alexander Hamilton was killed. He fathered two of Mary's children, each making huge accomplishments in their own lives. He also married Mary before his total downfall in secret, of course. Mary and Burr are drawn together into a world of power, passion, secrets, slavery, into a tangled web of slavery, that would have shocked a nation if known. Packed with political, emotional, historical and domestic details, Susan Holloway Scott, certainly describes an emotional tale, while, showing her cast of characters in an unforgettable story of drama, and lead by a woman whose courage, strength and spirit sparked a story infused with heart and details that will keep readers turning pages. Mary and Aaron's story is a little known Historical fact, based on this author's research. A rollercoaster of emotions, confusion at times, but Mary's strength and courage kept her moving forward. Be warned some details or descriptions, that Mary went through may concern some readers. However, it was done with taste and dignity. A surprisingly, enjoyable read. This is a new author to me, and I will certainly read her next book. "I voluntarily received a complimentary copy, however,  these are my honest opinions. I was in no way required nor compensated to write a review." #NetGalley, #TheSecretWifeofAaronBurr Rating: 4 Heat rating: Mild to hot Reviewer: AprilR
Cynthia_G 4 months ago
I am feeling rather ambivalent toward The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott. I can't quite put my finger on the reason or reasons why. It has many of the ingredients that books I love have in common: historical characters and events, chances to see behind the scenes, a story that continues over many years. So why did it take me so long to read it? I usually finish a book of this length within 2 and rarely 3 days; this book was perhaps nearly a week. Often I found myself with some time I could use for reading and I chose another activity. This is a very rare of occurrence. I have wondered about this. Could it be the characters and how they were written? The subject matter? Maybe. The characters are well described, the main characters in detail while the subject is disturbing. I found the main character's story both sad and disturbing yet there is a strength and resilience in her that must not be forgotten. I'm not sure how to address her, should I refer to her as Veeya as that is her first name and the one given her by her family, likely her grandmother who may have been the only one to love her solely for herself? Well that may not be true, Lucas loved her but he knew the woman she had become after much hardship. I believe he may have loved her if she had not experienced what she had but then, of course, she would have still been in India and they would never had met. Should I refer to her as Marie or Mary? Both "slave names"? In the book, when asked,she tells someone to call her Mary, so I will honor the characters wishes. This book deals with many disturbing issues and does an admirable job of conveying the anguish of Mary's plight. From birth it seems that she is both wanted and unwanted. People want the results of her work but don't value her as a person, in fact, she is not seen as a person but as a commodity. This first portion of the book deals with her life pre-Aaron Burr, the second is of her life once she encounters him, the third and smallest portion is post-Aaron Burr with a very welcome section detailing actual facts of her life and those of her children and grandchildren. I've written this section of my review several times and still don't think I've got it right... The "relationship" or "friendship", as Burr refers to it in the book, is so very complicated and conflicted. It is a difficult situation to be sure given that Mary is a slave and he is a rapist. There is no other word for it regardless how society at that time looked upon it. Even before he raped her, he wielded his power over her, from the first time they spoke when he arrived at the Prevost's home, the back garden when she brought him the cream of tartar and vinegar and he put his hand on her bottom. He continually showed her by words and deeds that he was the one with the power. I don't think it was by accident but by design and I also think that it was a commonplace occurrence during that time in history. I don't know if it was common at all for the victim to begin to have feelings for the rapist, perhaps it is a form of Stockholm Syndrome. What I do know that it may be a reason I was not in the mood to read. Sometimes there seemed to be a modern tone to the book, perhaps that contributed also to my reluctance at times to pick up the book. It may just be my reaction or interpretation of things. Certainly as both Mary and Burr were unusual people to the times, their conversations and attitudes could be unusual as well. It seemed tha
Joycerl 4 months ago
Absolutely wonderful historical fiction.Real history woven with fiction to capture the reader. I’m Indian and was thrilled to read about Mary Emmons.Not a lot of books talk about slavery in India but this book touched on it. Loved the look into Aaron Burr as a person and not just the villain. Lots of research went into this impressive book. Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for an ARC
Annette5151 4 months ago
I was drawn to this book’s cover. I thought this book was well written and well researched. It’s kinda a long book but it kept me glued to it from page one. I liked Mary and her story and couldn’t help but feel sadness at parts of her life. Now Aaron Burr might have gotten what he deserved. If you like historical fiction this one is definitely for you. Thanks to Netgalley for the early copy
Jessie_S 4 months ago
From the first sentence, I was immediately invested in Mary’s story. Even after finishing it, this book has not let me go. As soon as I met Mary, I felt a strong connection to her and concern for her. It never felt like she was just a character––she was a person who I truly cared about. Not only is Mary’s character beautifully written, but the other characters, such as Aaron Burr and his wife, Theodosia, are written in a way that truthfully depicts the complicated people they were. At times, I was drawn into Burr’s charm. At other times, I despised him. It’s nearly impossible to settle on a single feeling toward Burr throughout the course of the story, which is part of what makes the book so hard to put down. As someone who studies and interprets this era of American history on a daily basis, I truly appreciate and admire the thorough research that went into this book. With so few details known of Mary’s actual story, it’s really moving to see her come to life on these pages. This story offers a glimpse into the 18th century through the eyes of an enslaved woman––a perspective far too often ignored or relegated to the sidelines. This book will entirely change your view of the time period. I highly recommend this book! Put it at the top of your TBR pile, have a box of tissues ready, and set aside a weekend to read, read, read, because you will not be able to put it down!
Rachel_Denise01 4 months ago
The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Holloway Scott is a fantastic historical fiction read that creates a story surrounding a stunning woman that history knows very little about. Mary Burr (as I will call her for simplifying the review) was an enigma. The author did a fabulous job honoring this strong, resilient, intelligent, and preserving woman. Mary was flawed and imperfect, while also honest to a fault. I think that is why I enjoyed this novel so much, is that the author was impressive in weaving her personality into what was known into a woman that any one of us could identify with. There were so many things that I did not know about this time period, nor about some of the historical characters surrounding Aaron Burr(as well as Burr himself), and while this was mainly fiction and about Mary, the reader will learn a large amount of our nations history as well. I have already read a large amount concerning the abomination of slavery and slave trade, but it needs to be kept to the forefront of our thoughts so that we can never gloss over or forget what some of our fellow humans went through at the demands of others. It is important to remember to try to place a face and person with these names and never forget their lives, hopes, and resilience. This is a great read, but definitely hard subject matter to go through, yet necessary for us all. 5/5 stars