Published in 1911, Aunt Crete's Emancipation tells the story of a much-put-upon maiden aunt who finally has her day.
Miss Lucretia Ward lives with her sister, Carrie, and her niece, Luella. As Grace describes her on page one, she is "indispensable because she will meekly take all the burdens that no one else wants to bear." Carrie and Luella frequently impose on Aunt Crete's good nature and expect a great deal of the housework to be done by Aunt Crete, along with much of the sacrifice necessary to keep Luella happy and dressed in the latest fashion.
When a telegram arrives from the west with news of an impending visit from Crete's and Carrie's nephew, Donald Grant, Carrie and daughter Luella are provoked and look upon the visit as a calamity. Luella fears that his coming will "spoil her prospects" and declares that she can't "have a gawky Westerner around in the way."
Things don't change much do they? Or should we say people don't change?
Luella (and her mother, too) is worried about what people will think, supposing that "He probably never had much schooling, and doesn't know how to dress or behave in polite society...You can just imagine what a wild, ignorant creature he will be. If Clarence Grandon should see him, he might imagine my family were all like that; and then where would I be?"