In 1868, she joined her sister Louisa in Boston to teach an art class. Louisa had just secured her position as editor of Merry’s Museum. She was 35 and May, 27.
Line of intrigue
Madeleine Stern wrote a rather intriguing line about May that sparked the above question:
May joined her to start a drawing class and gave every promise of abandoning her wild oats and settling down into a sober teacher of the art in which she was completely engrossed. (pg. 164, Louisa May Alcott A Biography by Madeleine Stern).
The bold is my emphasis.
Not so young, and free
May was 27, single, sowing her wild oats. She was free. How did she get away with it considering the many restrictions on women in the 19th century?
Acceptable for a woman
Was it because she pursued an interest that was considered acceptable? After all, many a fine lady took up drawing. In chapter 12 of Little Women, “Camp Lawrence,” Miss Kate, the fine (and snobby) Englishwoman is depicted as an artist.
The baby of the family
Was it because she was the youngest daughter that she managed to fly under the radar and avoid the responsibilities that Louisa and Anna had taken on with such gusto?
Attitude on life
Was it because May was blessed with that certain “joie de vivre” that made her appear younger than she was?
Oh so charming
Was it her expertise in the art of graciousness that could charm anyone?
What was it?
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