CBS2's Mary Calvi Debuts a Novel About George Washington's First Love
The nine-time Emmy winner recently released her first novel.
Nine-time Emmy Award winner Mary Calvi, best known for co-anchoring CBS2 This Morning and CBS2 At Noon, recently debuted her first novel, Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington’s First Love.
The book tells the story of the relationship between our first president and his first love, Mary Eliza Philipse, who lived at Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers in the 1700s. It examines Washington’s resentment toward the British, and why Philipse was deemed a traitor and condemned to death.
Hudson Valley magazine caught up with Calvi — the First Lady of Yonkers, married to the city’s Mayor Mike Spano — to learn more.
Calvi headshot by Joe Panella
What sparked your interest in this?
“When my husband Mike decided to have the ceremony for his inauguration at Philipse Manor, the original Yonkers City Hall in the 1800s, curiosity propelled me to ask the question, ‘Isn’t it local lore that George Washington once courted the heiress who lived in the manor?’ When I couldn’t find answers I was seeking, I started digging for them myself. What I learned stunned me. Not only was a young Washington interested in the heiress in the 1700s, so were his British commanders.”
Tell us about the research process.
“Much of the documentation had been buried in the archives of libraries and museums. It was quite difficult to discover the information. I was amazed, though, how much could be found in the homes that once belonged to the heiress and her family. I remember visiting Philipse Manor as a little girl and always wondering whatever became of the family who lived there….”
336 pages (hrd), St. Martin’s Press, $27.99
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