NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After years of research that included reviewing hundreds of letters, witness accounts and journal entries, our own Mary Calvi is getting ready to publish her first novel.
It explores the relationship between George Washington and his first love, heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in colonial America. The book poses the question: Could unrequited love have helped light the spark that ultimately propelled George Washington to the forefront of the American Revolution?
“Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel Of George Washington’s First Love” examines why Washington had such bitter resentment toward the British nearly two decades before the American Revolution.
“As a journalist, I search for untold stories. I never would have imagined I’d find one hidden away for centuries in my hometown,” Calvi wrote. “Maybe history wanted their romance hidden. I do not know. What I do know is that during my research in libraries, museums, church basements and through digital archives, document after document pieced together like a puzzle until I was awe-struck at the theory it revealed.”
Philipse lived in the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights, which later served as headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution. She also lived in the Philipse Manor Hall in Calvi’s hometown of Yonkers.
Calvi used Washington’s own words to compose her portrait of the two. While the novel is a work of historical fiction, it presents a never-before-told theory of a long-held deception that ultimately led to Philipse to be named a traitor and condemned to death, and Washington without his first love.
“If you love ‘Hamilton’, you’ll love Washington. Years of research left me stunned to learn George Washington was passionate, charming, and even a romantic,” Calvi said. “I weaved together history into a novel of love, deception, and vengeance. The story might even challenge what you’ve always known about what triggered the American Revolution.”
Calvi is a nine-time Emmy-award winning journalist.