Tag Archives: Kentucky Authors

The Little Colonel & Pewee Valley, subject of additional study

Two Little Colonel fans pose at the gate to The Locust, July 2, 2015

Two Little Colonel fans pose at the gate to The Locust, July 2, 2015

On July 2, 2015, I was delighted to share my research on Annie Fellows Johnston with Dawn Sardella-Ayres, a Ph.D. candidate in Children’s Literature from Homerton College of the University of Cambridge. Mrs. Sardella-Ayres’ thesis will focus on the role of place in the novels. Many Little Colonel fans (of the 1935 Shirley Temple movie as well as the set of children’s novels) will envy the day we spent guided by Donna Russell, owner of Edgewood in Pewee Valley, Kentucky. Our tour included the interior of The Beeches, the interior of Bemersyde, the Presbyterian Church, the interior of Edgewood and so many sites made real to Annie Fellows Johnston’s faithful readers.  The Little Colonel books were wildly popular with children as early as 1895 and are still being reprinted today.  Asked by the American Library Association to defend her novels as having “too much heart interest,” Johnston explained that boys with apples are hardly recognizable as suitors to young girls who have only had adult fiction and fairy tales from which to draw their impressions of courtship.

To learn more about Kentucky author Annie Fellows Johnston’s influence on children and adults worldwide, read “The Little Colonel: A Phenomenon in Popular Literary Culture” at http://works.bepress.com/sue_lynn_mcdaniel/3/  If you are a Little Colonel fan, please contact me at sue.lynn.mcdaniel@wku.edu as my research is ongoing.

Comments Off on The Little Colonel & Pewee Valley, subject of additional study

Filed under Uncategorized

Kate Matthews and “The Little Colonel”

Photographer Kate Seston Matthews (1870-1956) was born in New Albany, Indiana, but she lived most of her life in rural Pewee Valley, Kentucky, a small community near Louisville. Matthews used this community and her friends and family as her subjects, but she is most well known today for her photographs depicting characters in the children’s book series, The Little Colonel. These stories were written by her neighbor, Annie Fellows Johnston. Matthews also loved to pose living pictures or tableaux vivants, whereby she captured on film a “water colored” view of her community and life in rural Kentucky. A patron has donated some of these original model prints depicting characters from the series to the Kentucky Library’s Photographic Archives. These materials are available for research Monday through Saturday (9-4) and may also be viewed at our online catalog, KenCAT.Little Colonel Series Models


Filed under Events