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My Theodosia

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  847 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
THEODOSIA BURR was borne on the full tide of history. Her short life has all the drama, all the necessary elements of a great historical novel.
Under Anya Seton's guidance, we see Aaron Burr, her father, sitting in his study before the great duel with Alexander Hamilton, and writing that famous letter which began, 'To my dearest Theodosia.' We see Theodosia herself, receiv
ebook, 432 pages
Published March 16th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published 1941)
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For my Hamilton fanatic friends!

After seeing the Hamilton musical in November, I wanted to reread this historical novel about Burr's daughter. It is not as well known as Katherine and Green Darkness but is a poignant and very readable story.

Here is a link to my review:
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid first outing for Seton. This book tells the story of Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia (Theo). I have to admit I didn't recall much of Burr from history class outside of the duel with Alexander Hamilton. At the start of the book Theo is 17 and Burr is vice president of the United States. Burr plots to have Theo married to the wealthy but uninteresting Joseph Alston of South Carolina. Burr needs some of that money to cover his debts and also the power of the Alstons to gain him politi ...more
Mardel Fehrenbach
I loved this book when I was a teenager, and have reread it before this. I wanted to read this book after reading Nancy Isenberg's biography of Aaron Burr, Fallen Founder, partly because the author mentioned at Seton had hinted at incest between Aaron Burr and his daughter, Theodosia.

I still don't see the incest, although I see some mentions of this thought in the mind of Theodosia's rather narrow-minded inlaws. I am inclined to think this view is one primarily promulgated by Phillipa Gregory in
Ana T.
Jul 02, 2010 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I have read some of Anya Seton's novels before it was only now that I had the opportunity to read My Theodosia, her first published work. Reading about Theodosia Burr Alston made me realise that I seldom read books about American history and that my knowledge is indeed lacking in that department. Something I started working on as soon as I finished the book because I had to look up every real people mentioned and that I intend to continue by looking for more books with that setting.

Sep 12, 2012 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, book-group
The story was interesting, so the two stars. But for a "meticulously researched" historical novel, there were many inaccuracies. I know it was written in 1941 by a New Yorker, but I was horrified by the racism in all the scenes that involved African Americans, from the the hairdresser who did Theo's hair for her 17th birthday in an early chapter, to the servants of the Burr family, and especially when the story moved to South Carolina to a rice plantation full of slaves. All the worst stereotype ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only thing that prevented me from giving it one star is that I finished. I found the writing incredibly dated (I know it was written in the 1940's and set in the 1800's, but I found it unrealistically over the top). When the book was recommended to me, I was told "it's a lovely story about a father-daughter relationship", but I found it more along the lines of "emotional incest". The relationship between Theo and her father disgusted me - she was so blindly devoted to him that it overshadowe ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our heroine, Theodosia Burr, is the only child of Vice President Aaron Burr (most famous for his duel with Alexander Hamilton). This book which spans from 1800-1812 tells the story of her relationship with her father and his self-serving hold on her. Ultimately, she sacrificed everything because of this devotion. This was Anya Seton's first novel written in 1941 and as always she is a master storyteller. One of the things I like about this author is her knack of making a rather obscure historica ...more
Gail Richmond
Jul 13, 2016 Gail Richmond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anya Seton's historical fiction, although written in the Mid-20th Century, is exceptional. Well-researched, her characters are fully developed based on what is known of the historical individuals on whom they are based. Yes, dialogue is imagined, but the places, events, and letters as well as speeches, etc are taken from primary documents.
The story of Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia, and her almost obsessive love and drive to please her father is fascinating.
I read most of this in one sitting
Mar 18, 2016 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful book! I'd already read other Anya Seton books and liked them. If I'd read this one first, I wouldn't have read any others. A dreary drawn out plot. I might have been able to put up with Theodosia's naive adoration of her father, but the mean spirited racist observations in the book disgusted me. Literally just threw this book in the trash can!
Kathy  Petersen
This is an example of why I am so hesitant to read historical fiction, especially those whose characters do have an actual place in the past. Herein we are treated to the most intimate thoughts and secret feelings of real and well-known people from the past ... nonsense.
Jun 17, 2013 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read all of Anya Seton's books when I was in high school.. Loved all her books..Have found a few I missed--guess my high school didn't have them--that I hope to read.. some still do not have Kindle editions.. Anyone who likes historical fiction would enjoy her books..
Debbie Crocker
Jan 01, 2017 Debbie Crocker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed learning about, Theodosia, Aaron Burr's daughter. All I really knew about Aaron Burr is that he was in a duel and killed Alexander Hamilton. The book pointed out to me how far women have come in our society. Burr provided the best education to his daughter, an only child. Her education compared to what a highly educated male would have received at that time. The trouble was that she wasn't able to use this education to better herself. She foolishly allowed herself to be led by h ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the US, is a difficult figure to fathom. He was wanted for the "murder" of Alexander Hamilton and was never tried for it. He was later was charged with treason and acquitted. History has not been kind to him. A recent work: Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr makes a good case for his vindication as in some ways Gore Vidal does too in his 1973 fictional work: "Burr: A Novel".

This 1941 novel shows Burr and all his contradictions through his daughter, The
Colleen Martin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2016 Lilee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Beautiful Heroine, Lackluster Story

This is definitely not one of Anya Seton's best works, though granted, this was her first novel. It started off enjoyable enough and charmingly similar to Katherine. I was really hoping it would stay that way, but unfortunately the book's flaws became more and more apparent as the story went on.

It was clear that this book was not well researched. Sure, all the right historical events and figures were there, but there was simply not enough research to really bri
Sonia Reppe
In her author's note, Seton says she tried to be as "historically accurate as possible," while acknowledging the "vast and conflicting" amount of Burr material, and the many theories of Theodosia's mysterious disappearance.
This was a beautifully rendered retelling of the life of Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr, that I found believable. What we do know for sure (that all the historians agree on) is that A Burr cherished his daughter Theodosia above all, and that she loved and admired him.
This is the second book I have read by this author and I quite enjoyed it! It's a weird mix of biography and fiction, but as I knew little about the historic events behind the novel, I could treat it like a purely fictional story. However, I did manage to spoil the ending a bit by going on to the internet to look up how accurate the book was and reading of a couple of things that had happened to the real Theodosia, so I kind of knew what was coming!

However, it was well written and the characters
Sep 29, 2010 Tania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fictionalized account of Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Aaron Burr, based on documented events of her life including correspondences between father and daughter.

Aaron Burr, a controversial yet important figure in U.S. History, had a very close relationship with his only daughter, Theo. While he wasn't above using even her to his own political and financial advantage, and indeed manipulated her feelings and life at will, in his daughter's eyes he was the perfect father and a man all should
Jan 11, 2014 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theodosia Burr is the smart, adoring, seventeen-year-old daughter of Aaron Burr, who was vice-president at a time when one attained the office by being the runner-up in a presidential election. Thus, the president, Thomas Jefferson, is actually his political rival. Having run into both political and financial hardship, Aaron arranges for Theodosia to marry Joseph Alston, a wealthy but unattractive and dull Carolina planter. Shocked that her father would be desperate enough to send her to such a ...more
3.5 Stars.

This book was an easy read, and fairly entertaining. I think my favorite part about this book was the setting and material; this period of American history isn't covered very much in historical fiction, which is a shame because I've always found it very interesting.

But although I loved the setting and all of the famous figures in early American history (Washington Irving, Meriwether Lewis, Dolly Madison to name just a few) that appeared in the story, this book is flawed without a do
Beverly Diehl
The incredible music of Hamilton inspired me to revisit and reread this novelization about the relationship of Vice-President Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia Burr Alston.

Burr comes across as an ambitious, and somewhat inadvertent villain in Hamilton. In My Theodosia, he is just as ambitious, more calculating, and a really creepy father who doesn't scruple to manipulate his adoring daughter for his own ends. Theodosia comes across as more than a little naive, though with the spunk to engage
This was Seton's debut novel, and it definitely sets the tone for how she wrote her later books (Katherine is one I've read). Theodosia is the precocious daughter of Aaron Burr, the only daughter. I could see shades of the Freudian school Seton used in Katherine here as well. It's even recognized by some of the characters, as Theo and her father share an unusually close relationship.

I loved the story and most of Seton's research is impeccable. I will admit that there are many troubling scenes in
Of course because this is a fictional story based on facts it is a little anti-climatic. It is the story of Theodosia Burr Alston the daughter of Aaron Burr vice-president of our nation who served under President Andrew Jackson. He had ambitions for the presidency and went a little overboard trying to win that race with money and influence. When his money ran out so did his friends. His daughter stood beside him all the way to the end, which I found both irritating and admirable. Everyone needs ...more
Muriel Schwenck
May 26, 2014 Muriel Schwenck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bittersweet and dramatic. The romance is intense and mystical. Perfect reading for a teenager. I memorized the song featured in the book 30 years ago and still recall it..."Heart of mine, away from thee, sever'd from it only rest,
Tosses as a troubles sea, bound within my aching breast"
Hey, it's better fodder than today's vampire novels.

Many reviews comment on the too close relationship between Theodosia and her father, but it's actually not that strange for it's day, when offspring were expecte
Jan 25, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My Theodosia" details the brief life of Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Aaron Burr. Picking up on her 17th birthday and continuing until her death at age 30, Anya Seton shows us a picture of a young woman forced into a politically expedient marriage to South Carolinian planter Joseph Alston and away from her love Merriweather Lewis. Seton has researched Theodosia's life using letters, historical documents and diaries and presents a conflicted young woman whose filial piety is used against he ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Maudie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb. Simply Superb. Nearing the end of my Anya Seton reads, I have become fascinated with the oft-times vexing, but ever interesting Theodosia Burr Alston. To my complete surprise, this Seton book that I kept pushing aside because I knew next to nothing about the title character and, frankly, wasn't that interested in meeting on the level that Seton insists a reader do, now sits beside my favorite Seton works: 'Katherine' and 'The Winthorp Woman.'

If you haven't met Miss Burr? Do. I believe y
Bev Simpson
Jun 24, 2016 Bev Simpson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this read for the second time. I had read it years ago - reading many of Anya Seaton's books in my 30s, I think. The rather tragic story of Aaron Burr's only daughter - actually only child - with whom he was very close. With Hamilton doing so well on the Broadway stage (in hip hop, no less!) I wanted to pick this up again and I'm glad I did. I remember being very impressed with Green Darkness many many years ago, I'll try that again, too.
Karen Hogan
Jan 01, 2016 Karen Hogan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anya Seton. This fictionalized biography of Theodosia Burr was her first novel. I didnt like it as much as her book "Katherine", but it was still good. It was really compelling in parts, but then slow in others. Theodosia's blind obedience to her father's wishes will infuriate you. I enjoyed reading about her plantation life, but felt sad that she married a man she didnt love to please her father. I found myself researching Theodosia Burr after reading this book.

Jun 27, 2008 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I found most interesting about this book was the depiction of Meriweather Lewis. I remember wishing he'd had more scenes. Theodosia's story was sad but not terribly involving--the men in her life, from her crazy, despotic father (Aaron Burr) to her unrequited lover, Lewis--grabbed more attention just walking across the page; she, herself, remained something of a cypher and therefore, was not as memorable as she should have been in a book where she's the title character.
Jun 01, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a 3.5. Not bad, but not as good as some of her other works. Leaves me interested to know more about the Burrs, besides the little I remember of them being mentioned in high school history class. So often her protagonists are just trapped in miserable marriages due to social pressures of their eras, it reminds me why I usually read just one of her books per year as they often have repetitive themes.
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Anya Seton (January 23, 1904 (although the year is often misstated to be 1906 or 1916) - November 8, 1990) was the pen name of the American author of historical romances, Ann Seton.

Ann Seton was born in New York, New York, and died in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She was the daughter of English-born naturalist and pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernest Thompson Seton and Grace Gallatin Seton-
More about Anya Seton...

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