Hitting the Mark: A review of “Little Women” (a modern retelling) starring Lea Thompson

The newest addition to the Little Women movie library is a modern adaptation, bringing the classic story by Louisa May Alcott into the 21st century. Directed by Clare Niederpruem and starring Lea Thompson as Marmee and Sarah Davenport as Jo, “Little Women” is a mixed bag that ultimately hits its mark. There are many liberties …

The Little Women Movie: A Modern Retelling – Interview with scriptwriters Clare Niederpruem (director) and Kristi Shimek

I am happy to present this interview with Clare Niederpruem, director and writer, and Kristi Shimek, writer  for Little Women (a modern retelling) starring Lea Thompson. The movie premieres on September 28, 2018. SPOILER ALERT: Some of these questions may give away parts of this movie. 1. Why did you choose to make the present …

A conversation with Anne Boyd Rioux on “Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters”

Back in July at the Summer Conversational Series at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, I had the privilege of conversing with author and Alcott scholar Anne Boyd Rioux about her new book, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. You can listen in as I fashioned it into a …

Upcoming presentation on the Alcott connection in Swampscott and Lynn, Massachusetts

From Metaphysics & Christian Science to “Little Women:” The Alcott Family’s Connections with Swampscott & Lynn Presented by Susan Bailey Thursday, May 24 at 7 pm Swampscott Public Library 61 Burrill St., Swampscott, MA 01907 Between 1839 and 1876, Swampscott and Lynn hosted members of Louisa May Alcott’s family. Progressive educator, reformer and philosopher Bronson …

Reaching Across Generations of Women: Louisa May Alcott’s Impact on Sylvia Plath

I am pleased to present a guest post by Julia Gordon-Bramer, a scholar of Sylvia Plath. This post is an excerpt from her upcoming book titled The Magician's Girl: the Mysticism of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Bramer writes, "It is my goal to teach the world more about Plath's transcendentalism, where it comes from, …

The Alcott daughters as beneficiaries of their parents’ progressive ideas on education

Recently I read an essay called “Women, Menstruation and Nineteenth Century Medicine” by Vern Bullough and Martha Voght which discussed how misinformation regarding women and menstruation prevented them from receiving an education. The essay covered familiar territory with regards to how the world of medicine regarded women’s health in the nineteenth century. (See previous post)  …

“Poppy’s Pranks” reveals the childhood of Louisa May Alcott

I am listening for a second time to Harriet Reisen's fine biography, Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women. In discussing Louisa's childhood Reisen makes many references to a story Louisa wrote for her first children's series, Morning-Glories and Other Stories. Having little experience with writing children's stories, Louisa opted to learn by doing, …

A blunt, controversial psychological study of Miss Alcott — Katharine Anthony’s 1937 biography

The 1930s was an interesting time in Alcott scholarship. The year 1932 marked the one hundredth year of Louisa’s birth. 1938 not only marked the 50th anniversary of Louisa and Bronson’s death but also the 70th anniversary of the publication of Little Women. Thus in 1937, two important biographies were released – Odell Shepherd’s Pedlar’s …

Those unconventional Alcotts left behind quite the mark

The Alcotts were an atypical Victorian family to be sure. Along with rather unconventional philosophic and religious ideas as to how to live, the family did not subscribe to typical Victorian role models. Role reversal To begin with, Bronson’s refusal or inability to work to support his family necessitated that his wife Abba take on …

Don’t miss the special exhibit of rare artifacts at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

On Thursday I toured Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. I was anxious to see the artifacts pictured in The Annotated Little Women, edited by John Matteson and took a vacation day to see them as November can get swallowed up in holiday preparations. If you live anywhere near Concord and can get to this exhibit, …