Little Jenny's Journeys
Before there was Aunt Jenny, there was her great-aunt and namesake, Little Jenny, the beloved protagonist of the “Little Jenny’s Journeys” series. The books record the fantastic journey of ten year-old Jenny in the magical realm of the Halflands, a world between worlds, filled with wonders of its own. The books starring a little girl in ringlets, a sailor dress and beret, came out at the very end of the Victorian era. They made her a household name like Wonderland’s Alice, Oz’s Dorothy, or the Neverland’s Wendy.
In May of 1898, rumors spread that Jenny Winston, the ten-year old great-grand daughter of the industrial tycoon JP Winston (and great-aunt of our hero) had disappeared. In August of that year she was again seen on a family outing to the beach. The family never confirmed the disappearance, but all sorts of rumors flourished.
In April 1900, a friend of the family, well-known author Cassandra Sinclair, published her first children’s book, Little Jenny’s Journey to Fairy Land. The family treated the book as a wonderful gift to Jenny, likening it to the way that Lewis Carroll had based the fictional Alice of his stories on Alice Liddell.
Then Jenny disappeared from the public eye again, not being seen from the summer of 1900 until the fall of 1903. A year after her reappearance, Little Jenny’s Journey to the Summer Fall came out, followed by a book every year until the author’s death in 1917.
The books in the Little Jenny series were:
- Little Jenny’s Journey to Fairy Land
- Little Jenny’s Journey to the Summer Fall
- Little Jenny’s Journey to the Winter Spring
- Little Jenny’s Journey to the Emerald Mountains
- Little Jenny and the Shady Lady of the Shadow Isle
- Little Jenny in the Sapphire City
- Little Jenny Journeys Down the Rivers of the World Tree
- Little Jenny’s Journey to the Patchwork Country
- Little Jenny and the Sea Witch
- Little Jenny in Dreamland
- Little Jenny and the Moon Maid
- Little Jenny on the Hidden Road
- Little Jenny on the Endless Ocean
- Little Jenny and Lewis Clarke
In them, Little Jenny met some of the people and visited a number of places that Aunt Jenny would travel to nearly 120 years later. Cassandra Sinclair was writing a children's book as the world moved into the twentieth century, and so her portrayals are somewhat different than what we and Aunt Jenny would come to know in the twenty-first century, but they are often recognizable.