"You see, some folks has albums to put folks' pictures in to remember them by, and some folks has a book and lorites down the things that happen every day so they won't forget them; but, honey, these quilts is my albums and my diaries."
Aunt Jane is a fictional character well known for her gentle folk wisdom and her vivid descriptions of 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. She writes about strong women and the ways in which they make their voices heard. Obenchain was a dedicated suffragist who worked to win rights for women in the areas of property ownership and divorce, and her interest in the social condition of women is evident throughout her fictional work. In one of the most popular stories in the collection, "Sally Ann's Experience," Sally Ann refuses to agree that women should be silent in church; she tells her male audience, "Now it's my time to talk and yours to listen."
Aunt Jane of Kentucky, first published in 1907, is a delightful example of regional fiction that will also serve as a valuable document for those interested in the history of women's issues.