Louisa May Alcott part of study on women authors and domesticity

I found a wonderful article about a book featuring Louisa May Alcott and 3 other women authors in a study on American women authors’ domesticity. Here is an excerpt from the article – the link is at the end of the excerpt so you can read the whole article:

Newswise — Brooklyn, NY — The ways in which four major American women writers — Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, Willa Cather and Edith Wharton — dealt with their domestic roles and how they portrayed this domesticity in their work is the focus of a new book by New York City College of Technology (City Tech) Professor Caroline Hellman . . . Domesticity and Design in American Women’s Lives and Literature: Stowe, Alcott, Cather, and Wharton Writing Home.

“My book is the story of independent female authors who had unusual relationships with home; they moved frequently either to repeatedly begin anew the processes of designing and decorating or to avoid domestic obligation altogether,”she says.

Hellman adds that it is also “the story of these women authors creating female characters who had strikingly different relationships with domesticity as they contended with significant burdens of housekeeping in an oppressive domestic environment.”

Link to the rest of the article

4 Replies to “Louisa May Alcott part of study on women authors and domesticity”

  1. Some years ago I read and enjoyed a book of letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe. She was married to an academic/minister. They had many children and little money until the success of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. HBS is sometime depicted as writing under inspiration. One of her inspirations for sure was to bring in some much needed income. Her letters are both touching and amusing on the trials of running a large household while trying to get some writing done.

    She and Calvin Stowe seem to have been independent types who did not need each other’s company constantly. In those days there was no such thing as separate vacations, but each would go on off separately to a spa somewhere for a “water cure”.

    1. What’s the name of that book, sounds very interesting. I would be particularly interested in finding out how she ran her busy household and found time to write too. Undoubtedly her husband’s support was key. In fact, it sounds like her husband was an unusual guy!

  2. The book is entitled Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe, edited by Annie Fields, published by Houghton, Mifflin, 1897. So it is an old book, and I doubt that it is in print. I’ll scan a couple of pages and send them by email.

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