Fruitlands through the years in sight and sound

Recently a reader (thank you Michelle!) sent me a wonderful interview with Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia. Francis does an excellent job of clarifying a complex situation (anyone who has studied the Fruitlands experiment in depth knows what I mean!). It was presented on The Woman’s Hour on BBC, hosted by Jenni Murray.

Richard  Francis Interview

Fruitlands then and now

I thought too that you might enjoy a tour of Fruitlands through the ages. I combined photos from Clara Endicott Sears’ book, Bronson Alcott’s Fruitlands with photos I took on my last visit there:

Upper photo courtesy of Harriet Lothrop Papers, Minuteman National Park

Front of the house

Foyer

Kitchen

Dining room

Dining room

The study

Alcott’s bedroom

Charles Lane’s bedroom

The heart of the story

And here are pictures of the attic. I think these pictures bring home the human drama of Fruitlands more than anything. When you actually see it, you just want to sit there and ponder what went on in that dark, cramped and cold room:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Save

Save

Save

louisa may alcott for widgetAre you passionate about
Louisa May Alcott too?
Subscribe to the email list and
never miss a post!

Keep up with news and free giveaways
on Susan’s books,
Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message,
and River of Grace!

Facebook Louisa May Alcott is My Passion
More About Louisa on Twitter

both books for LMA blog widget

 

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Fruitlands through the years in sight and sound

  1. bertzpoet says:

    LMA’s portrait — a photograph, it appears — shows up in both the small dining room and the small entry.  Had it been moved between the old photographs? And where was the Healy painted portrait?  Was it, as suggested in ‘Jo’s Boys’, hung behind some door? “Keeping his gravity with an effort,Teddy pointed to a very bad portrait of Mrs. Jo, which hung behind the door, and afforded her much amusement, it was so dismal, in spite of a curious effect of light upon the end of the nose and cheeks as red as the chair she sat in.”

    cheers, bert  Norbert Hirschhorn MD 115 Greencroft Gardens London NW6 3PE UK +44 (0) 20 7624 2394 / +44 (0) 776 778 3611 http://www.bertzpoet.com

    In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times. Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

    From: Louisa May Alcott is My Passion To: bertzpoet@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, April 21, 2017 11:00 AM Subject: [New post] Fruitlands through the years in sight and sound #yiv7783046323 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7783046323 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7783046323 a.yiv7783046323primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7783046323 a.yiv7783046323primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7783046323 a.yiv7783046323primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7783046323 a.yiv7783046323primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7783046323 WordPress.com | susanwbailey posted: “Recently a reader (thank you Michelle!) sent me a wonderful interview with Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia. Francis does an excellent job of clarifying a complex situation (anyone who has studied the Fr” | |

  2. Jillian says:

    Lovely post!! I so want to see this place. Xx

  3. Laurie says:

    Susan Bailey, you strike again with a fascinating post. Loved the photos and the interview!

    • susanwbailey says:

      Thanks! I saw Richard Francis once at a book signing and he has that wonderful British dry wit. He has a great grasp of the absurd when it comes to Fruitlands but at the same time understands the human tragedy of it too.

      • Laurie says:

        One of the things I find so interesting since I started reading your blog (and you might remember I only read Little Women for the first time last year(!), is I didn’t know or realize the UK/US connection with Bronson’s work. I didn’t know anything about him, really, before. In a superficial or uneducated way, I just thought the novel (and I guess the Alcott family) was a quintessential American one. So I love how much you open the eyes to people like me!

      • susanwbailey says:

        Love that, thank you! I’m one of those odd ducks who is more interested in the real people than in Louisa’s books. Every member of the family is fascinating.

  4. Elizabeth Hilprecht says:

    Wow…I can just smell the old wood and upholstery!!🤔

    On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 6:00 AM, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion wrote:

    > susanwbailey posted: “Recently a reader (thank you Michelle!) sent me a > wonderful interview with Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott > Family and Their Search for Utopia. Francis does an excellent job of > clarifying a complex situation (anyone who has studied the Fr” >

  5. Elizabeth K. Hilprecht says:

    About that attic: it looks miserable. Don’t forget how hot it was in the summer! What was that against the wall: an old matress to keep the cold out? What a place to stuff Meg and Jo into. About the kitchen: no stove? Did Abba have to do all the cooking over the fire in the fireplace? Did they have some kind of box to put over the fire to bake bread in?

    • susanwbailey says:

      Lizzie was in the attic too. The first picture shows the old chimney. I am guessing they all slept in one bed. And yes, no stove, cooking was done in the fireplace. Bronson and Abba actually shared kitchen duty at times. No idea how the bread got made but I’m pretty sure it was without yeast. But don’t quote me on that! 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    Love this post; it gives me such a picture of the house and the lives that were lived in it. One day I’ll focus properly on the family and their friends. In the meantime, thank you for such an inspiring resource. Your blog is always fascinating 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s