So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The 1909 novel Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work by L. Frank Baum writing as Edith Van Dyne, is the fourth volume in the Aunt Jane's Nieces series. The three young women, Louise Merrick, Beth De Graf, and Patsy Doyle, met in the first volume of the series on the estate of their Aunt Jane, who was dying and trying to decide which niece would receive her inheritance.

In this fourth book of the series Kenneth Forbes, the young man who inherited Aunt Jane's estate, is now running for the state legislature, in what he thinks will be an easy election against a corrupt politician. He is the richest man in this poor district but inexperienced in the ways of the world. When he starts to have a rough time, and it looks like all hope is gone, his three cousins decide to go to work for his election They show up with their rich Uncle John and, even though women can't vote in 1909, they organize an effective campaign. This is an interesting story that describes the type of political maneuvering of 100 years ago. Baum's mother-in-law was the famous women's rights activist Matilda Joslyn Gage, and I feel she would have been proud of her son-in-law's characterization of these three young political women.


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