Wayside, and Thoreau, as you’ve never seen them before; and some news

I came across two fascinating blog posts today that shed a new light on cherished Alcott/Concord lore.

Walden's Shore Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century ScienceThoreau and rocks

First of all, the Thoreau Society is running an interview with author Robert M. Thorson where he reveals something entire new about Thoreau.. It was discovered during his research for his book, Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science about Thoreau, the self-taught physical scientist.

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Robert M. Thorson

Check out his discovery here.

Wayside or Orchard House?

Little Women‘s numerous readers know that Orchard House is the physical setting for the story of the March sisters. But do they know that next-door Wayside is where the action actually took place? (I know you do!)

Artist Joyce Pyka has been painting a folk art version of The Wayside, visualizing it as the home of the March sisters. She has a delightful blog post showing the progress of her work plus drawings of each sister. Remarking on Louisa May Alcott’s  extensive knowledgeable about flowers, she discusses those preferred by each sister and depicts them in the painting.

Here is how the painting appears so far:

Be sure and visit her blogpost to see a larger version of the painting and read about her progress. The drawings of the sisters are adorable!

Prints will be available when the painting is completed. It will be made available at http://pyka-joyce.artistwebsites.com/galleries.html  under her Folk Art Gallery.

News and Upcoming Posts

I am thisclose to finishing my first book and will be submitting it to the publisher around December 1. I will finally have some free time! I thank you for your patience with the scarcity of posts.

rose in bloomI wanted to announce that I am currently reading Rose in Bloom, have written my first post, and will begin posting as I get further into the book. I want to makes sure I post on a regular basis on this book since in the past I haven’t always been so faithful. I am very much enjoying Rose in Bloom so far and look forward to discussing it with you all.

 

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Louisa May Alcott Society call for papers for 2015 ALA conference in Boston

American Literature Association 26th Annual Conference Boston May 21-24, 2015

Louisa May Alcott Society (Contact Christine Doyle)
contact email: 

“Transatlantic Alcott”

little women abroad2Louisa May Alcott’s status as a quintessentially American writer notwithstanding, literature and life on the other side of “the pond” interested her immensely. Her favorite writers included Dickens, Bronte, Goethe, Schiller, de Stael; admiration for their work surely added fuel to her own “burning” genius. New Englander though she was, she took not one but two European tours, producing sketches as well as fiction in response to the experiences.

Even in the most American of her novels, Little Women, several chapters take place in Europe, where Amy and Laurie visit many places Louisa experienced on her first European tour in 1865-66.

  • What does Alcott’s writing show about her reading of Europe and European writers? In what ways does she embrace them? Reject them? Re-shape them to her particular artistic temperament and to the American experience?
  • How does she make use of the personal experiences garnered in her travels in Europe, in her non-fiction sketches such as Shawl Straps, and in her fiction (The Inheritance, A Long Fatal Love Chase, the thrillers generally) as well?
  • How might themes in her work be considered to be in dialogue with English and European writers, or with other American writers (Hawthorne, Twain, James) who were looking transatlantically themselves?

One hundred fifty years after Louisa May Alcott (like Amy) first “sailed away to find the old world,” can we consider her Americanness in a broader, more international context?

Send one-page abstracts (approx 300 words) by January 19, 2015, to Christine Doyle (doylec@ccsu.edu).

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Part four of 4-part interview: Meet filmmaker and producer Justin King and hear his passion for Orchard House

In part three of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, we meet the documentary’s producer and filmmaker, Justin King. Hear his motivation for making this film:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont.

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Host Lee Ann McClymont wrote a lovely sonnet to Louisa which I will close with. Thank you for your support of the campaign!

Louisa’s Dream

Kindred sister, in thy grace,
Help me birth a gentler race.
Place inside the meaning clear
Through our voice disband the fear.
Ford our way through wide and narrow
Guide our vision through bone and marrow
Still the noise and ply your craft
With sound and vision restore the draft
Till eventide the sea must rush
Let moonbeams sweetly whisper “hush.”
The end is near for family’s lost
In time suspended hope’s only cost
Restore the pledge to live in light
Godspeed your craft
With fortress might!

Sweetwood-Spring 2009
Hillsborough, North Carolina

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Part three of 4-part interview: Jan Turnquist recounts a fascinating story of a pilgrimage to Orchard House

little women in koreanIn part three of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Executive Director Jan Turnquist shares a poignant story of a pilgrim visiting Orchard House from the other side of the world and how Little Women impacted this visitor:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont.

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Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Part two of 4-part interview: Jan Turnquist talks about Bronson’s education and the support Louisa received from her parents

" . . . I press thee to my heart, as Duty's faithful child."

” . . . I press thee to my heart, as Duty’s faithful child.”

In part two of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Executive Director Jan Turnquist reveals how Bronson Alcott received his education and how important his love of learning was to Louisa’s development as a writer:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the Courage Cocktail Radio Show, WCOM LP. 

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Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Beginning today: 4-part interview with the movers and shakers of the Orchard House documentary and Kickstarter fundraising campaign

As you know, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House has been promoting a Kickstarter Campaign to raise $150,000 to fund a documentary film on this extraordinary house museum (click on the photo to make your pledge).

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Those of us who have visited Orchard House know that it is far more than a museum; it is a place of pilgrimage. Countless visitors remark on the spiritual aspect of visiting the ancient house, “feeling” the presence of the Alcott family as they see drawings and paintings by artist May on the walls and secretly touch the desk where Louisa penned Little Women.

orchard house

 

Jan Turnquist, Director of Concord's Orchard House, shares the wealth of the historic Alcott home.

Jan Turnquist, Director of Concord’s Orchard House, shares the wealth of the historic Alcott home.

Recently Executive Director Jan Turnquist and film maker and producer Justin King gave a compelling interview on the radio program “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont of WCOM LP 103.5 in Carrboro, North Carolina. The interview was an hour in length; to facilitate easier listening, I have split that interview into four parts to be posted Monday through Thursday of this week. I wish to thank WCOM for permission to rebroadcast this interview.

As you listen to this wonderful, passionate and magical account of Orchard House, please consider joining the hundreds who have already pledged their support at  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house. With just 17 days left to go, nearly $100,000 still needs to be pledged.

This documentary affords Orchard House the chance to reach a far wider audience than they ever have before. Knowledge of this house is essential to keep it up and running as a museum. Build in the 1600′s, Orchard House is in constant need of repair. Your pledge keeps Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House alive and running!

Here is part one of the interview; it features Jan Turnquist describing the fascinating history of the house:

 

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Remembering Louisa May Alcott through your pledge #PledgeYourLove

Over the next five days I will be posting video and audio featuring remembrances of Louisa May Alcott and her home, the Orchard House. You may know that Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is in the middle of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise $150,000 to fund a documentary film about the history and legacy of Orchard House.

Any of you who have visited Orchard House know,  it is more than a museum. It is a place of pilgrimage. We can feel the presence of the family from Louisa’s mood pillow in the parlor, to Anna’s grey silk wedding dress on Louisa’s bed. From Bronson’s architectural improvements and the large library in his study, to Marmee’s family china in the dining room and her comb in the master bedroom. We pause looking at Lizzie’s melodeon and marvel at May’s paintings and drawings not only hung on the walls, but painted right on the walls. Most of all, we stop in front of the little half moon desk where a classic was born, a book that has inspired the lives of millions of women from around the world for well over a century.

The posts I will put up Monday through Thursday of this week will feature a 4-part interview with the Executive Director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House Jan Turnquist; plus we will hear from the producer and filmmaker Justin King as to what inspired him to make the film.

I am deeply grateful to Lee Anne MyClymont for granting permission to take her interview and present it over these next few days. You can find her podcast here: “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont of WCOM LP 103.5 in Carrboro, North Carolina.

As a warm-up, I wish to present my own remembrance of Louisa May Alcott and her sister Lizzie, just to get you started:

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

To make sure you don’t miss these series of interviews, subscribe to the email list and never miss a post!

With only 17 days left in the campaign, let’s help Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House make their goal!

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