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June's Book
Aunt Jane of Kentucky
by Eliza Calvert Hall

From the 1995 paperback edition:

Well known for her gentle folk wisdom, the elderly, fictional Aunt Jane vividly describes a picturesque and almost vanished way of life in the rural South of the last century. Her words recall lavish Sunday dinners, courtships, quilting bees, church meetings, and county fair competitions.

Yet Aunt Jane of Kentucky is more than a collection of reminiscences about the region of Western Kentucky where Eliza Caroline Obenchain (who published under the name Eliza Calvert Hall) was born and raised. A dedicated suffragist, Obenchain worked to win rights for women in the areas of property ownership and divorce. Now modern readers can become acquainted with the strong women of these tales through Aunt Jane’s “insights on women’s lives and work” and “her gentle but often sly comments on society,” as Bonnie Jean Cox writes in the new foreword to the collection.

Eliza Caroline Obenchain was born in 1856 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The author of several books, she published poems, essays, and stories about her native Western Kentucky in such magazines as Scribner’s and Cosmopolitan until her death in 1935.

Bonnie Jean Cox is assistant director for collection development for the University of Kentucky libraries. She is working on a bibliography of biographies and autobiographies of outstanding American women.

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