Little Colonel Books
We were inspired by
the posting of The Little Colonel at the University of Pennsylvania's
A Celebration of Women Writers. Since finding this (and
discovering that all of Annie Fellows Johnston's books before 1923 are now
public domain) we began the task of putting these writings on line.
This project will take years, but we hope you enjoy and appreciate our
efforts! Thoughts and
comments are always welcome!
The Little Colonel
The Giant Scissors
Two Little Knights of Kentucky
The Little Colonel's House Party
The Little Colonel's Holidays
The Little Colonel's Hero
The Little Colonel at Boarding-School
The Little Colonel in Arizona
The Little Colonel's Christmas
The Little Colonel, Maid of Honor
The Little Colonel's Knight Comes Riding
Mary Ware, The Little Colonel's Chum
Mary Ware in Texas
Mary Ware's Promised Land
And you mean there's MORE?
The Little Colonel 1895
The beginning of the series. Set in now what is essentially a
Louisville suburb, Pewee (Lloydsboro) Valley, a favorite summer retreat of
Louisville aristocracy during Victorian times, this is the tale of a bitter
old confederate colonel (based on the real-life character of Colonel
George Weissinger) and his 5-year old
granddaughter (real-life Hattie Cochran) who possessed a certain military
demeanor from which she got her name. This is a
story of reconciliation and forgiveness.
This story is hosted on
Celebration of Women Writers
The Giant Scissors 1898
This may be Annie Fellows
Johnston's sweetest and most sentimental story. A tear-jerker for
those inclined! Written in and set in the little French village of St.
Symphorien across the Loire fromTours, it is a
tale that reminds one of the thawing heart of old
Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." When The
Giant Scissors was written, it was not with The Little Colonel in
mind. However, beginning with The Little
Colonel's House Party, Joyce, The Giant
Scissors main character, becomes a major character in the remainder
of the series, and frequent references are made to events in this story.
Little Knights of Kentucky 1899 Old Louisville's own
William and Craig Culbertson
are used as the models for little knights Malcolm and Keith in a
fictionalized version of a winter and summer visiting their grandmother in
Pewee (Lloydsboro) Valley at the close of the 19th century. The
relationships are real and even the bear was modeled after a performing bear
that came to the valley during that time. This book
is a real chance to meet the types of people that lived in and around
our city over 100 years ago. Don't miss the descriptions of a genuine
Victorian era Valentine's
Day party and the
tableaux which comprised some of the most respected home-made
entertainments of the time.
"Knighthood has not passed away. The flower
of chivalry has blossomed anew in the New World, and America, too, has her
'Hall of the Shields'"
Little Colonel's House Party
Joyce returns from
The Giant Scissors along with Malcolm and
Keith, from Two Little Knights of Kentucky.
They are joined by new characters, among them Betty and Eugenia, who will
also become very familiar throughout the rest of the series. A
summer-long House Party has been arranged for the Little Colonel. Good
times are mixed with the tragic, but lessons learned lead to the "Road of
the Loving Heart." This theme, which continues through the later
Little Colonel books, would become an influential model for American girls
in the early 20th Century.
Little Colonel's Holidays 1901 Several
chapters of this 1900-1901 tale are set in "Old
Louisville." The Little Colonel and the Two Little Knights of
Kentucky have grown a bit, and are joined by the Waltons, modeled after the
family of General H. W. Lawton,
a fallen hero of the Spanish American War. The story revolves around
the search for a little girl who has been "kidnapped" by her drunken father.
Yet the real interest may lie in the imagery of Victorian Louisville, good
and bad, its values and mores (also good and bad), as well as the
descriptions of Victorian holiday celebrations. Well known early in
the 20th Century was the Halloween party
at the Haunted House of Hartwell Hollow (the house really existed, but
burned down by the 1930s).
"To 'The Little Captain' and his sisters
Whose proudest heritage is that they bear the name of a nation's hero"
Little Colonel's Hero 1902 As the surprise gift for her twelfth
birthday, the Little Colonel goes abroad to spend the summer in Europe.
In Geneva, she befriends an old Prussian major and his Red Cross
dog, a St. Bernard named Hero. The story of
the Red Cross is central to the story. Through many adventures on both
sides of the ocean, including a return to Tours and the Gate of the Giant
Scissors, the Little Colonel, at the end, learns the true meaning of
selfless duty. This story is a perennial favorite of Little Colonel
"To all the friends of the 'Little Colonel' to
whose letters the author could not reply, this book is offered in answer to
their many questions"
Little Colonel at Boarding-School 1903 When the Old Colonel
becomes ill, the Little Colonel's parents must send her to boarding school.
Merry times mix with lessons learned that were not in the school curriculum.
Little Colonel fans will especially remember the Shadow Club and the story
of the Three Weavers. This book was once considered so suggestive that
many public libraries, including Pittsburgh and Boston, had it removed from
their shelves. How times have changed.
All the Girls who, like the Little Colonel are "standing with reluctant feet
where the brook and river meet, womanhood and childhood sweet."
The Culbertson Mansion collection contains
"Mrs. Walton's" own copy. You can see the dedication page from Annie
Fellows Johnston to Mrs. Lawton by clicking
Little Colonel in Arizona 1904
The land around old
Camelback mountain near Phoenix is the setting for this story. Joyce
and the Ware family have made a new home, and Joyce, especially, is having a
difficult time making the adjustment to the "loneliness" of the Arizona
desert. That is, until an invalid at Lee's Ranch tells her the "Legend
of Camelback Mountain." That tale in itself, renamed "In the Desert of
Waiting" would later become one of Annie Fellows Johnston's most popular
little books. A letter from Joyce to the Little Colonel brings about
her visit to Arizona, and her first real taste of romance in the person of
the handsome and personable Phil Tremont. Will he fit the
princely mantel suggested by the Three Weavers? Many lessons are given
in this book, the most memorable being "the school of the bees" and the
legend of Alaka and the lost turquoises. We also meet for the first
time in depth the sweet and entertaining Mary Ware, who will play such an
important role in many of the future stories.
Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation 1905
Ten years have passed since we
were first introduced to the Little Colonel. The old Lloydsboro Seminary has
burned down, and this suits the Little Colonel fine, as she finds herself,
along with Betty, Kitty and Allison, at "Dear Old Warwick Hall," a beautiful
mansion run as a boarding school by Madame Chartley on the Potomac, near
Washington. In one of the most delightful autumns of her life, the
Little Colonel finds new friends, experiences inspiration in her studies and
joy in her escapades. Spilled tomato soup begins a course of events on
a field trip to Washington that leads to the tale of Ederyn and the
importance of "Keeping Tryst." When a severe case of the flu requires
the Little Colonel to extend her Christmas vacation and sit-out the next
semester, she learns the meaning of Ederyn's tale first hand, and in doing
so makes her first significant steps into adulthood. For every day
selflessly spent , the Little Colonel awards herself a pearl. As the
string grows, so does her understanding of life and the world.
Little Colonel, Maid of Honor 1906
-- It's time for a second
house party! Eugenia is getting married, and the wedding will be at
The Locust. Joyce comes with her entertaining sister, Mary Ware, from
the Arizona desert to join Betty, The Little Colonel and all the rest of our
favorite characters from Lloydsboro Valley in the festive
preparations. Charms and dreams, prophesies and warnings, and of
course the wedding (actually there are two!) make up this delightful tale.
Then there is the matter of the lost turquoises, and whether Lloyd will earn
her golden leaf of honor. The stage is set now for the Little
Colonel's own wedding. But we'll have to wait until the next story to
find out for sure who the Little Colonel's knight will be!
Little Colonel's Knight Comes Riding 1907
-- When she wrote this, Annie
Fellows Johnston intended it to be the conclusion of the Little Colonel
series. Of course, as it turned out, that would not be quite true. The
stories continued, albeit through a somewhat
different perspective, in the Mary Ware series.
Only recently the maid of
honor, now it will be the Little Colonel's turn to be the bride, at least
that much of it we can give away! But who will it be? A
"Knight Comes Riding"
in every chapter, but who will finally measure up to the silver yardstick?
Will it be one of our old friends, like Little Knight of Kentucky Malcolm
MacIntyre, or perhaps Rob Moore, Alex Shelby, Phil Tremont, Jack Ware . . .
they are all in the running! Or maybe it will be a new Knight that
comes riding! You'll have to read the story to find out!
Ware, the Little Colonel's Chum 1908
Here is the first sequel, or shall we say continuation,
of the Little Colonel stories, born of the pressures Annie Fellows Johnston
received from her many young readers to continue the series. Although
the Little Colonel herself is peripheral to this story, it is a true
continuation of the saga.
In this tale, we begin with the irascible Mary Ware
beginning her first term at Warwick Hall. Mary's exploits are a
delight to read. In many ways, this is the most charming and humorous
story of the series --- that is until a tragic letter arrives from home.
Then Mary, with the "bloodstone (as) her signet,
sure token that undaunted courage was the jewel of her soul,"
shows that she, too, just as Edryn, can answer "The King's Call." This
book also contains, as one of its chapters, Annie Fellow's Johnston's tale:
"The Jester's Sword."
The Culbertson Mansion collection
contains "Mrs. Walton's" own copy of Little Colonel's Chum. You can
see the dedication page to Mrs. Lawton by clicking
here, along with some thoughts.
Ware in Texas 1910
Because of Jack's poor health,
the Ware family has moved to Texas. And Mary Ware is beginning to grow
up, in more ways than one.
The story is set in San Antonio and in Bauer (the fictional
name Annie Fellows Johnston gives to the real town of Boerne,) where Annie
took her own convalescing son and lived for some years
and where she wrote many of the earlier Little Colonel Books.
By the time Mary Ware in Texas was published, Annie Fellows Johnston had
returned for good to her Promised Land at Pewee Valley, KY. This book
then can fairly be considered a collection of the authors reminiscences of
Boerne and its people as well as a continuation of the Mary Ware trilogy.
This volume contains many lessons for Mary and all girls of
that era. Through a series of twists and turns, you will find a much happier
story than The Little Colonel's Chum. And maybe we'll even see that
Mary's own Knight may have come riding! Maybe.
Ware's Promised Land 1912 -- Here we come to the very last of the
series of Little Colonel Books. Sort of.
This is actually two books in one. Part 1, in 8
chapters, continues where we left off in Texas on
the way home to the little mining camp of Lone-Rock in Arizona. Mary
plans to stay there only as long as it takes to find a position elsewhere,
then finds that there may be just as many reasons
Part 2 gives us Betty's wedding in Lloydsboro Valley,
and finally a life's mission for Mary Ware: A mission that is for Mary
as the King's call of Edryn. However to "keep the tryst" will force her to
make a painful decision between her new-found work and the fulfillment of
her life's dreams.
This part of the book is in reality a tribute to,
collusion with, and now a history as well of Annie Fellow's Johnston's own
sister, Albion Fellows Bacon, and her work. Some will recognize "Riverville"
as Evansville, Indiana. Albion Fellows work as a reformer, as well as
her situation in life, can be found in the character of Mrs. Dudley
In this book, Annie Fellows Johnston makes her
strongest political statements of the series. And here, in Mary Ware,
she gives us a heroine whose call goes far beyond that of the Little
Colonel, who's only ambition in life had been to make a Road of the Loving
Heart (without breaking any fingernails). For in Mary we find a
heroine that hoped to be a "blessing to her
generation and a torch that helped to light the way for all who came after
And so we come to the
end of the Little Colonel Stories
-- or do we? Actually, there are just a
few more....click here
of the holdings here at the Samuel Culbertson Mansion (we think this
may be nearly the complete list of Annie Fellows
of the holdings at the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library
(includes dates, call numbers, locations)
What's New? Biography of Annie Fellows
Books on Line (Complete
Original Little Colonel Book Series)
The Little Colonel (link to U. Penn))
Knights of Kentucky
The Little Colonel's
The Little Colonel's
The Little Colonel's Hero
The Little Colonel
The Little Colonel in
Colonel's Christmas Vacation
The Little Colonel, Maid of
The Little Colonel's
Knight Comes Riding
Mary Ware, The Little Colonel's
Mary Ware in Texas
Mary Ware's Promised Land
Check our home page for more titles by AFJ on other sites
The People & Characters:
The Little Colonel, Papa
Jack and Mrs. Sherman, The
Old Colonel, Two Little
Knights of Kentucky,
Two Little Knights of Kentucky(2),
Uncle Sidney & Aunt
Elise, parents of the Two Little Knights of Kentucky,
Aunt Allison, The
Waltons, Rob and Anna
Jack Ware, Mom Beck,
Walker, Katherine Marks,
The Lees of Arizona,
Their Final Resting Places
The Places: In Pewee (Lloydsboro) Valley:
Where it all began, The Locust,
The Little Colonel's Cottage,
The Railroad Station,
Post Office, Churches,
The Haunted House at Hartwell Hollow,
Minor Places In Old Louisville:
Mansion, "Home of a Hero"
The Cuckoo's Nest (Indiana), In Arizona:
Camelback Mountain &
Hole-in-Rock, In Texas:
The Little Town of Bauer (Boerne),
The Barnaby Ranch,
The Gate of the Giant Scissors
Letters from Annie
Fellows Johnston and "Mrs Walton"
Cooking with The Little Colonel
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