Victorian Huswifery with the Alcotts: Louisa May Alcott’s domestic service

In anticipation of my presentation of "Victorian Huswifery with the Alcotts," I thought I would share with you portions of my talk. The essence of the talk outlines the life of the family covering more than eighty years of the nineteenth century. Their wide variety of living arrangements as they struggled through poverty to eventual …

Six women writers (including Louisa May Alcott) and their journeys as writers on film

There is a wonderful film online featuring the stories of six prominent women writers (including Louisa May Alcott, of course!. It is called Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to Write. Here is the summary from the website, Films on Demand Digital Educational Video: Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to …

The boys in Louisa May Alcott’s life

From the pages of Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag comes an intriguing memoir of the boys in Louisa May Alcott's life, "My Boys." From one "boy" to another Louisa had always preferred the company of boys and wished she had been born one herself.  She particularly favored the age when boys were "regarded as nuisances till they are …

A darker side of fashion in Louisa May Alcott’s time

With regards to our discussion of Eight Cousins, a reader asked some questions about fashion in reference to chapter 5, “A Belt and a Box.” The question was, "Do you know of any information about what Louisa and her mother taught about fashionable clothing? Do you know if she was reading doctors or feminists who …

What was the 19th century equivalent of the Ladies Home Journal?

I'm in trouble. There's an antique store right down the street from my house and already I've found two big thick books, one dated 1866 and the other, 1878. The bug of collecting antique books is beginning to take hold! As I read more and more about Louisa May Alcott, her family and her works, …