James Gillespie Blaine (1830-1893) was the nearest thing to a political idol in a politically uninspiring era, serving in Congress from 1863 to 1881. As secretary of state, he laid the basis for American imperialism.
A frame narrative or story within a story is a distinctive literary device that many great writers have used over the years. In a frame narrative, an additional story is inserted within the main story. Sometimes, the main story only serves as an introduction and conclusion for the framed story, but sometimes it plays a larger role. The best way to understand frame stories is through examples.