I’m a Samantha.


I loved, loved, loved the American Girl books. Loved. Was obsessed with. I never had any of the dolls, but just perusing the catalog was almost as good.

When I started receiving what was then called the Pleasant Company catalog – that tells you how old I am – there were just three girls, and now the empire has expanded, with new characters and retired characters and a new generation of feverish obsession.

It was great to read this story in The New Yorker and have great memories flood back.

And as for the title of this post, I was most definitely Samantha. I loved her and Molly almost equally, but the fact that Samantha got to curtsy to her grandmother (who was called Grandmary, which I thought was just so exotic) propelled her to favorite status. I was never a Kirsten girl. Live on a farm? Have your best friend die of cholera? No thanks, thought 10-year-old me. (Did love her braided hairstyle, though.)


7 responses »

  1. I was a Molly! She was my first doll, and my parents got her for me because she is the one who I most resembled. I also remember being SO PROUD of myself for saving my allowance for a couple months so that I could buy Addy all by myself. I loved ALL the dolls. I’m so sad they are retiring the historical ones and focusing less on them 😦 I also remember buying ALL of the American Girl company books.

    • Oh, I’m so bummed, too! Especially because they worked really hard – you could tell – on getting all of the historical details correct. I remember being, and still am, very impressed by that. I had all of the books until, I think… Josefina? They’re still in a box in my parents’ basement.

      • I did too! My Mom has the newer ones. I eventually got Josefina too- I think she was the last one I got. Between my Mom and I we had all the originals (we liked the dolls). I also remember doing a Felicity experience down at Williamsburg. Gosh I miss those dolls- but at the same time the books are still wildly popular at least at my library

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