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Special Collections and University Archives

and William Green Hill

Frances Boyd Calhoun’s book created a minor sensation when it introduced the world to crotchety but warm-hearted Miss Minerva and her rambunctious nephew William Green Hill. Miss Minerva is initially described as a “sober, proper, dignified, religious old maid unused to children.”

Sadly, Calhoun died before she could add a sequel to this first book (which went through eleven printings in less than two years); but the characters proved too popular to die; and the publisher Reilly and Lee turned the series over to Emma Speed Sampson, who turned out eleven more titles between 1918 and 1939. Although the heavy dialect and racial stereotyping deterred many readers, the characters proved so lovable that the success of the series was guaranteed. Many of the titles in the series remain in print today.

-Dr. William K. Finley

An Exhibit
Hodges Reading Room
February 15 – May 15, 2010

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