Marietta Holley

Marietta Holley

About Marietta Holley

Marietta Holley (July 16, 1836 – March 1, 1926) was an American poet and humorist who used satire to comment on American society and politics. Her poems have often been compared to those of Mark Twain and Edgar Nye. Her first poems were published locally in the Adams Journal, earning her success in larger periodicals like Peterson's Magazine. In 1872, her first novel, My Opinions and Betsey Bobbet's, was published by the American Publishing Company. Between 1873 and 1914, she wrote more than 25 books, including a collection of poems, two dramas and a long poem. Among her novels was a 10-book series that detailed the travels and married life of Samantha and Josiah Allen as they traveled outside of Samantha's hometown, which resembled Holley's. Holley herself spent most of her life near the family farm; aside from Saratoga and Coney Island, she never visited the places she sent her fictional protagonists to; rather, it depended on maps, guides and descriptions to obtain the necessary details. Many of Holley's writings share themes of prohibition and women's rights. Many contemporary writers and suffragists held her in high regard; her famous friends included Susan B. Anthony, Twain and Clara Barton. Anthony often asked her to give speeches at suffrage conventions because of Holley's support for women's suffrage, but she refused to appear in public.
Along with Frances Miriam Whitcher and Ann S. Stephens, Marietta Holley is considered one of the most important female comedians of America's early years.

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