Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Gordon Wilson, Lee Jones, Finley Grise

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Kentucky, following in the footsteps of her parent state, Virginia, has given to America some of her most distinguished statesmen. She gave to the Confederacy its only president, Jefferson Davis, and to the Federal Union its war president, Abraham Lincoln. Housed in a noble pile of imperishable granite, on its exact original site, near Hodgenville, the humble log cabin in which Lincoln was born is now preserved as a national shrine. At Fairview a towering obelisk marks the birthplace of Jefferson Davis.

These two statesmen were born, one year between them, of the same pioneering stock. One moved north of the slavery line; the other went southward into the heart of the slave country. Thereafter their lives ran by contrasting, instead of by parallel, lines. But in temperament and in sentiment both remained forever Kentuckians at heart. [Cobb. Kentucky, p. 40]

In the field of literature Kentucky has not been so outstanding, but far too little is known of the writers whom she has produced. In the field of descriptive narrative perhaps no more representative writer has sprung from Kentucky soil than the one chosen for this study.

James Lane Allen has done for Kentucky, or rather a particular section of Kentucky, what Thomas Nelson Page has done for Virginia and George W. Cable for Louisiana. More than any other author he has made the Bluegrass region of Kentucky both known to his countrymen and Europeans.

“Both in rendering incomparably the prodigal beauty of his homeland and in portraying the vanished types of antebellum days, Mr. Allen is a rare artist.” [International Encyclopedia]


English Language and Literature | Literature in English, North America | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority