The Devil In The White City Summary

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Erik Larson’s nonfiction novel The Devil in the White City whisks the reader through two plotlines: one of the man who was in charge of constructing the World’s Colombian Exposition, Daniel Burnham, and the other of an intelligent killer who used the fair to lure in prey, H.H. Holmes. The novel serves as a brilliant view of the stresses that went into the fabrication of the World’s Colombian Exposition, also known as the White City and the Chicago World’s Fair, as well as the darker application of the White City’s nationwide appeal. Within the story arc of Daniel Burnham there are three main characters. Burnham himself was a skilled architect that had fallen into the more business applicable parts of the job, leading to his role as the organizer…show more content…
Most notably among them are his wife, Margaret Burnham, and their five children. These family members of his served as a sort of anchor, or end goal to the fair, due to him living on the construction site for the three years it took to make, rarely seeing any of them. Next would be Patrick Prendergast, an obsessed man who had assassinated the mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison, and brought the World’s Fair to an unceremonious end. Finally among the mention-worthy is Frank Millet, who had been responsible for the painting of the fair’s buildings as well as many of the large activities and events which helped to save the fair from financial…show more content…
Most notably would be the Pitezel family, who Holmes had befriended and eventually killed the husband, Benjamin, and three of the five children, Howard, Nellie and Alice. Minnie Williams is also of importance as Holmes had married her to deceive her of her property inheritance, and subsequently killed her and her sister Anna. There were two other women and a child mentioned as victims in the novel: Julia Conner and her child Pearl, and Emeline Cigrand. Both of the women Holmes had promised marriage to, and soon after killed them, and had killed young Pearl on the same night as her

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