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My Theodosia

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  929 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Theodosia's father is Aaron Burr--Thomas Jefferson's vice president, most famous for his great duel with Alexander Hamilton. With charm and tenderness, he holds sway over young Theodosia's heart, but his arrogance forces her to choose between the man he insists she marry and her love for a young soldier who will turn out to play a decisive role in her father's fate. Persua ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 12th 1976 by Fawcett (first published 1941)
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Rating details
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Sarah Mac
Meh. Whatever. It's long, 2 days(?) since I set this down, & I have no desire whatsoever to pick it up again.

Full disclosure: it's difficult enough getting me into Founding Fathers fiction, so the combination of a slow story with historical name-dropping + obnoxious MCs is virtually guaranteed to kill my interest. (Sorry, all ye Hamilton fans, but IMO it's an unglamorous era & pales in comparison to European history of the period. Zzz.)

Re: the obnoxious MCs, Burr's creepitud
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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:
Ana T.
Apr 06, 2010 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.

Mardel Fehrenbach
Sep 07, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2010 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
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
I'm not generally a fan of historical fiction; however, that is because i've never read anything by Anya Seton. What a phenomenal author. If you'd asked me if I wanted to read a book about Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia, and their relationship, I ould guess I'd have passes it up. I couldn't put this book down. I learned more about that whole period of history than I ever learned in school.
Very good book! I can't wait to rad more by Anya Seton.
Gab McLaren
Dec 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yikes. It's one thing to read old books, it's one thing to read historical fiction, and it's completely another to read old historical fiction. This book has not aged well, nor do I suspect I would have found much meat in it had I read it in 1941.

Lesson learned: just because I'm obsessed with American foundational history does not mean I should pick up every loosely related novel I see. At least it's over now.
Jun 17, 2012 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
Sep 04, 2010 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
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 25, 2008 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 rated it really liked it
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..
Lynette Lark
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another great novel by Anya Seton! This book (written in 1941) was about Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia, and the manner in which her father controlled her (like all parents did in the 1800s), except that this relationship was a bit strange. Almost like Donald Trump and Ivanka except I actually liked Aaron and his daughter (even when I could see through the manipulations). The most interesting part of the story line was when Meriwether Lewis came into the story. It was like two lost souls had r ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a pretty quick read, and I did find the story of Theodosia's life fairly interesting. But honestly this was hard to get through reading it through a contemporary lens. The treatment of people of color was hugely problematic, which obviously it was at the time the book was set, but this was more than that. There was an offensive sneeriness toward the slaves and servants that came through in the writing that was probably completely acceptable at the time of publication, but never should h ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. The gaslighting, Stockholm syndrome and emotional blackmail in this book are astounding. I wanted so badly to hate Theo, but I just felt sorry for her most of the time. I feel like if her mother had lived, she might have been spared the emotional abuse at her father's hand and been able to lead a happy life. The fact that she spent the majority of her married years as an invalid, due to the fact that she was so incredibly unhappy, is just heartbreaking. However, it was a very well written b ...more
Carol Wilkinson
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 11th grade US History and remember the story some 50 years later. It inspired me to continue searching for historical fiction books. I still love that genre very much. Thank you, Mr. Frank for suggesting this book.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I could easily put it down & not bothered to finish reading this book. The style was constricted like the time the story was set in, it may have been that I did not find any of the characters interesting enough so that I wanted to find out more.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I was expecting more historical fiction and less chick lit. I was disappointed, but the history and perhaps my current interest in all things Hamilton kept me reading.
Jennifer Kepesh
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a fictionalized account of the life of Aaron Burr's daughter, encompassing Aaron Burr's life and this period of American History. For those who like historical fiction, this might be a pretty good choice, but as I'm not a fan, it wasn't a great choice for me.The account uses both Aaron and Theodosia's letters as a resource, to help convey the voices and the father-daughter relationship. It was written in 1941, so it's possibly the Anya Seton's own immersion in American prejudice of the t ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
2/ 5 stars

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 bring these people and event
Sonia Reppe
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Beverly Diehl
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: local
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
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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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