The celebration continues on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women. The Concord Free Public Library, home to the largest collection of original Alcott manuscripts, hosted Alcott scholars Joel Myerson from the University of South Carolina and Daniel Shealy from UNC Charlotte, both of whom gave their first joint lecture on Alcott. A …
from Pink Umbrella Books: Verena Demel is studying in Munich and brings an interesting perspective to “Camp Lawrence” – great followup to yesterday’s post on the same from the LW 150 blog.
In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Verena Demel, German student and lover of all things Alcott.
Contributor Verena Demel reads an English version of Little Women surrounded by various translations and adaptations of the novel in Germany. Betty und ihre Schwestern, referenced in her essay, sits on her lap.
What is your favorite scene from Little Women?
I have to talk about each part of Little Women because for me; the parts are quite different.
Part 1: Actually, impossible! All the Christmas scenes, castles in the air, Jo visiting Laurie, Beth and Mr. Laurence . . . but I would say “Camp Laurence,” the whole chapter. It’s an interesting chapter. It’s very different in some of my distinct retellings of Little Women, like whether Kate Vaughn is really rude…
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From the LW 150 blog: Here’s an interesting take on “Camp Lawrence.”
By A. Waller Hastings
Like many of the chapters of Little Women, chapter 12 – “Camp Laurence” – could be a self-contained short story, moving along a trajectory from the arrival of invitations to the picnic to a satisfactory day’s end, when Mr. Brooke responds to the British Kate’s observation that “American girls are very nice when one knows them” with the comment “I quite agree with you.” What more is needed?
The first half of the book, covering a year in the March family’s lives while Father is away at the war, is constructed as a series of such episodes. If chapter 12 could function independently, though, it also fits into the overall arc of the novel, in two ways. First, it offers additional evidence about the characters and romantic attachments of several characters. And second, it is a rare chapter that makes explicit, if satirical, reference to…
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From Pink Umbrella Books: Having read “The Courtship of Jo March” by Trix Wilkins (and loved it), I was especially interested in her essay, “Why Jo Says No (and Why We Care),” and she nailed it! From “Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy.”
In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Trix Wilkins, writer, Aussie, and Alcott enthusiast.
Contributor Trix Wilkins, photographed by her seven-year-old son, reads Little Women across from the iconic Sydney Opera House.
What is your favorite scene from Little Women?
I love the New Year’s Eve ball where Jo and Laurie officially meet. They have an interesting and free-flowing conversation, and of course that wonderful dance in the hallway that happens because Jo says she can’t show the burn in her dress and Laurie says let’s dance anyway. It’s a lot of fun. I think this is the first time in the novel we see Jo unburdened—no thoughts of money or war or work, just joyful moments—and being the person she might always be in the company of such a friend…
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From the LW 150 blog: This is the second of two takes on the chapter, “Experiments.” This is a truly unique insight!
By Mark Gallagher
Louisa May Alcott was deeply affected by the Fruitlands experiment. While she eventually wrote a satirical history of it, her first published commentary on her father’s failed utopia appears in Chapter 11 of Little Women, “Experiments,” where the March sisters indulge in the “all play, and no work” lifestyle that led to Fruitlands’ failure and the near ruin of Alcott’s family.
The chapter begins on June 1st, the same day Fruitlands was founded in 1843. Meg is relieved of her governess duties for the summer, while Jo is reprieved by a vacationing Aunt March. Deciding that lounging is the preferred course of inaction, all four sisters abandon their domestic duties for a week of personal freedom. Mrs. March consents, “You may try your experiment for a week, and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play, and no…
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From LW 150 blog: Not one, but TWO very different takes on this great chapter in Little Women. Here’s the first one.
We are experimenting again this week with two very different looks at the same amazing chapter, one of the richest, wisest, and funniest in the book. Enjoy!
Melissa McFarland Pennell
I did not read Little Women until I was an adult, but since that first encounter, I’ve enjoyed rereading the novel many times and often include it as a text in one of my courses. Perhaps that is why when asked which might be my favorite chapter, I picked “Experiments” –a chapter about lessons learned and the value of trial and error. It is also a chapter about work, presenting some forms of paid employment that women held in the nineteenth century, but also speaking to much of the invisible work that women did and continue to do. For me the key to the chapter is in Marmee’s commentary near its end that “Work . . . gives us a…
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From Pink Umbrella Books: This is the best giveaway ever! Enter to win an original painting simply for buying “Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy.”
To celebrate the launch of Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy fine artist, Shalece Fiack, has donated an original painting to be given away to one lucky Alcott fan. To enter:
- Follow PinkUmbrella Books and Shalece Fiack Studios on social media (one entry)
- Share or reblog this post (two entries)
- Purchase a copy of Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy and send a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org (three entries) (previously purchased copies count, if you purchased at the Orchard House launch, you’re already entered, if you bought online, send us your receipt)
Giveaway ends October 8, 2018. Winner will be announced on our social media and will be notified via email. 10% of publisher proceeds go to Orchard House Museum to help preserve the Little Women legacy.