Mrs. Arnold

Peggy Shippen was the highest paid spy of the Revolutionary War at age 20. She committed treason against the United States with her husband, Benedict Arnold, and her former lover, the British soldier John Andre. This is her story. 

The story of Peggy Shippen is my favorite kind of story - that of a woman using everything she has to get what she needs against seemingly impossible obstacles. Since women's history has been largely unwritten, we must record lost histories by filling in the gaps left by lack of primary source materials with imagination. Writing about questions of treason and loyalty to country during this crazy time in American politics has been exciting and satisfying. Were the first Patriots actually patriotic or were they being wildly unpatriotic to England? Should you remain loyal to a country that has been disloyal to you? Answering questions like this (and raising even more) has formed a satisfying backdrop to what is at its heart, the story of a girl torn between two men she loves.

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I am loyal to America. But when America is disloyal to me? To my family? Both the family who raised me and the family I married? Then why should I remain loyal to it? You are the land I pledged loyalty to, and if I behave like a helpless debutante, I’m not the daughter my father raised me to be.