See May Alcott Nieriker’s home in Meudon, France

My friend Charline Bourdin from the French Louisa May Alcott blog sent me these amazing pictures of May and Ernest Nieriker’s final home in Meudon, a suburb “but fifteen minutes from Parish by rail” as May recalls (pg. 265, May Alcott A Memoir by Caroline Ticknor). Charline lives in Meudon. May wrote many letters home …

Lizzie’s favorite hymn, perhaps the one sung at her funeral

In my continuing research on Elizabeth Alcott, I find that letters by her mother offer the most poignant moments. I am already obsessed with Lizzie and Abba's comments act as gasoline on an already roaring fire. I'm told that obsession with a character will produce a good story; I sure hope so! I believe in …

Unpublished Alcott Letters: New letter from Louisa to Little Women publisher Thomas Niles discovered

Here’s a good reason to join the Louisa May Alcott Society (and only for $10 per year). Newly discovered letter I recently received the quarterly newsletter to read an article by scholar Daniel Shealy (best known for his brilliant annotated edition of Little Women) reporting on the discovery of a new letter by Louisa May …

Unpublished Alcott Letters: Lizzie to her family from Swampscott, August 16, 1857 (and a cosmic coincidence)

Concord is not the only place where you can take a Little Women pilgrimage. Last week Sylvia (a friend I met through the Summer Conversational Series) and I visited Swampscott, a small community on the North Shore next to the city of Lynn. It was here in August of 1857 that Abigail took Elizabeth for a …

Unpublished Letters: A long letter from Lizzie Alcott to the family from the Sewall household in Boston

Here is a long letter from Elizabeth Alcott, written just before she and Abba left for the North Shore. They are staying at the home of Tom and Mary Sewall in Boston. It was written on August 6, 1857. The letter comes from the Amos Bronson Alcott Family Letters collection, Houghton Library MS Am 1130.9 …

Unpublished Alcott letters: Anna to Bronson, Walpole March 16, 1857

Thank you for your enthusiastic responses! I have a handful of letters that I can share with you that I have transcribed as completely as I could. Some words were not readable, mostly because the letters were bound in a volume so that words close to the binding could not be made out. If I …

Question for you: How interested are you in unpublished letters from Alcott family members?

As I've been transcribing letters I've seen at the Houghton Library, I've been dying to share their content with you. I wrote to Houghton asking for permission and as long as I properly cite them, I can publish as much as I want! Here's the question: Would you be interested in full-length letters on this …

Abba, Bronson and Lizzie: a slice of family dynamics – what does it tell us?

In 1853, Elizabeth Alcott suffered a bout of depression. She was seventeen at the time and the family was destitute, living in Boston and constantly on the move. Abba wrote the following to Bronson about the episode: "Elizabeth is in rather better spirits but it seems as if there had been some collapse of the …

Elisabeth Alcott through the eyes of her father

By the time Elisabeth Sewall Alcott was born, Bronson had moved on from chronicling the daily activities of his daughters to exploring the soul. In Eden’s Outcasts, John Matteson writes that “Elizabeth was fairer than her elder sisters and … was the model of serenity that Bronson had vainly hoped Anna and Louisa would be. …