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Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition   By: (1836-1926)

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Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition by Marietta Holley takes readers on an adventurous journey through the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and offers a delightful blend of humor, romance, and social commentary. Set against the backdrop of one of the most iconic events in American history, this charming novel provides a unique glimpse into the customs and values of a bygone era.

The story follows the witty and astute Samantha, a small-town woman from New England, who finds herself amidst the wonders and eccentricities of the St. Louis Exposition. As she explores the fairgrounds and encounters various exhibits and curious characters, Samantha's quick wit and insightful observations provide an entertaining and often satirical commentary on the world she discovers.

Holley's writing style is simple yet engaging, allowing readers to easily imagine themselves in Samantha's shoes as she navigates the bustling fairgrounds. The author's descriptive prose beautifully captures the sights, sounds, and enchantment of the exposition, immersing readers in the atmosphere of the time. Whether it's describing the splendid Palace of Electricity or the awe-inspiring Ferris wheel, Holley's vivid descriptions awaken a sense of wonder and excitement.

While the novel's primary focus is Samantha's experiences at the fair, it also touches upon important themes of the era, such as gender roles and societal expectations. Samantha, as a strong and independent woman, frequently challenges the social norms of her time, offering a refreshing and thought-provoking perspective. Through her funny and candid observations, Holley cleverly highlights the absurdity and contradictions of the society, providing subtle critiques on topics like marriage, patriotism, and the growing divide between the rich and the working class.

Furthermore, the book incorporates a gentle romance subplot, adding a touch of the sentimental to the overall narrative. Samantha's budding relationship with the charismatic Mr. Allen serves as an enjoyable counterpart to the extravagant spectacle of the fair. Their interactions provide heartwarming moments throughout, as they navigate their emotions amidst the backdrop of the lively exposition.

Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition is a captivating and lighthearted novel that successfully transports readers to a pivotal moment in American history. Marietta Holley's engaging writing, coupled with the endearing character of Samantha, makes for an entertaining and satisfying read. Whether one is fascinated by historical events or simply seeking an engaging story, this book will undoubtedly leave readers with a sense of enchantment and a smile on their faces.

First Page:







[Transcriber's note: These are the captioned halftone illustrations. There are several other uncaptioned line drawings.]

He showed 'em in a careless way as much as fifteen dollars in cash

Josiah's good nater returnin' with every mouthful he took

It is the big crowd that is surgin' through the Pike to and fro, fro and to

"I hain't Theodore. I'm President of a Gas Company."

She laid her pretty head in my lap, sobbin' out, "What shall I do? What shall I do?"

Good land! I couldn't sort 'em out and describe them that passed by in an hour. Frontispiece



I had noticed for some time that Josiah Allen had acted queer. He would seem lost in thought anon or oftener, and then seemin'ly roust himself up and try to act natural.

And anon he would drag his old tin chest out from under the back stairway and pour over musty old deeds and papers, drawed up by his great grandpa mebby.

He did this last act so often that I said to him one day, "What under the sun do you find in them yeller old papers to attract you so, Josiah?"

But he looked queer at me, queer as a dog, as if he wuz lookin' through me to some distant view that interested him dretfully, and answered evasive, and mebby he wouldn't answer at all... Continue reading book >>

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