Aunt Jane’s Hero
“Aunt Jane’s Hero”, Horace Wheeler, was a handsome fellow, and quick-witted, but very poor. Horace’s one desire was to be in love, which led him even into proposing to a woman!
As for Aunt Jane, she was a sincere, kind-hearted Christian widow whose “little sermons” to her friends were not always appreciated as the words of wisdom she had in mind. She tended to interfere with the good times others had with the less serious youth they kept company with.
But Horace’s unfailing sense of humor and easy manner made him a favorite in his crowd. Aunt Jane’s prayers continually followed Horace after enlisting in the Civil War, where he became a different person; not only physically but spiritually. Aunt Jane’s Hero is a well-told Christian story of how God can work in the lives of young people, by the master story-teller, Elizabeth Prentiss, author of Stepping Heavenward and numerous other beloved books from the 19th century.
About the Author
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (1818-1878) was a highly popular author of books for children and adult women. Daughter of New England minister Edward Payson, at age 19 she opened her own school, but bad health made it impossible for her to continue. In 1845 she married Rev. George Prentiss and served alongside him in ministry.
Even as a teenager, Miss Prentiss loved writing. By age 16, he was already published a piece in periodicals for youth. This was followed by her first children’s book, Little Susy’s Six Birthdays, which was a great success. So Prentiss continued the title character in Little Susy’s Six Teachers and Little Susy’s Little Servants (1856). Eventually a book was compiled from gathering these into one volume, Little Susy Stories.
The Flower of the Family was Prentiss’s first novel, sometimes known by the title Comfortable Troubles. Possibly her two most acclaimed works are The Little Preacher and Stepping Heavenward. Her books vividly portray the Christian walk, and many of them have strong elements of autobiography, relying much on familiar reliance on scenes of everyday life that her audience could easily relate to.