Samantha and Nellie
So I currently have guests, which means I can't access my dolls because the dolls are in the guest room so...
The doll fun has all been in my head recently. That does not mean I'm crazy...the fact that I spend all this money on dolls means I'm crazy. Kidding...mostly. But really, almost all the disposable income I can claim either goes to travel or dolls.
Anyways, I decided to do a new series on the dolls in the future. What would these girls live through as they grew up? Some periods would intersect. For example, Samantha and Nellie would live through Rebecca's series, Kit and Ruthie's time, and finally Molly and Emily's time.
I decided to start with the three original characters: Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. Then I'll move on in order of creation. When I do a main character, I'll also do the best friend if it applies.
So. Samantha Parkington and Nellie O'Malley. The rich orphan and the factory worker from Edwardian times. How would their life turn out?
Last we heard, Nellie has been adopted by Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia. Samantha and Nellie are now technically sisters. Women are working to gain the vote. Tensions in Europe are faintly on the horizon.
These girls were nine in 1904. They'll be sixteen in 1911, which would have been considered prime marriageable age at the time. Scary huh? But then again, life expectancy in 1904 was 47 so...there's that.
In my opinion, Samantha marries into a prominent and rich New York family at age 18 like Grandmary always expected. Her husband's name is Richard. Samantha never works for pay, but that doesn't stop her from pursuing goals. She becomes a suffragette and pickets with Alice Paul in front of the White House during WWI. Like most of those women, she gets arrested and is imprisoned for "traffic obstruction." With the rest of the wrongly arrested women, she goes on a hunger strike and is force fed. When she gets out, she waits impatiently for the 19th Amendment to be ratified, which it finally was in 1920.
Samantha continues to work for women's causes. She remains rich until the stock market crash, 9 years later. Her husband loses most of his income, but they still remain relatively comfortable. Samantha is still devastated by the loss though. At that point she is middle aged with two children: Gardner and Lydia.
Gardner fights bravely and unfortunately is killed during WWII. Lydia goes on to college, something Samantha herself never did. Lydia of course graduates with honors. Lydia also works for prime female causes, such as reproductive rights.
Samantha dies as a middle class individual at age 52 in 1947. Richard survived her. She is amazed at how far America has come. When she was a girl, women did not have the right to vote. Yet she was a key factor in changing that and she sent a daughter to college. Women were now serving in the armed services and were entering careers they had never thought possible.
Nellie became a teacher as she always wanted. She did not get married until she was 23, preferring to complete her education before marriage. Nellie's husband, Patrick, was also from an Irish family. He wasn't as well to do as Richard, but Nellie inherited some money from Uncle Gardner and Aunt Cornelia.
She was also arrested for picketing-she would never have let Samantha face prison on her own! Nellie dedicated herself to the female cause, but she also spent a great deal of time on other causes, such as the labor cause and helping immigrants with learning American customs. She was also extremely supportive of civil rights for African Americans-she knew what it was like to be discriminated against because of her ethnic background.
Nellie herself had no children-she was too tired from raising her two sisters all her life, so it didn't really bother her when she never had any. She enjoyed being an aunt to Lydia and Gard and was thrilled when Lydia went to college, following in Aunt Nellie's footsteps.
Nellie lost her money in the Great Depression as well, but she was much more resilient about it than Samantha. After all, she knew what it was to be poor. During WWII, Nellie went to work in the factories. She went at night, after she finished her work at the school, imaging that she was helping her "nephew." Nellie was crushed when he died. Her family slowly rebuilt their financial security.
Samantha and Nellie both got married, but their letters revealed a different story to Lydia many years later. While they both cared for their husbands a great deal, they loved each other most. They knew their relationship would never be accepted.
Nellie outlived Samantha-she lived until she was 75, outliving Patrick, and died in 1970, long enough to see Lydia marry and have children of her own. Nellie, starting life as a poor Irish girl working in a factory, was amazed at the changes in her own life. She never forgot Samantha. She was also excited to see all the changes in Ireland, which gained independence from the UK in 1922 and became a republic in the 1940s.