feminism AND transcendentalism? in my assigned reading?

Thoughts on Moods by Corinna Robinson – well worth the read!

Another serene scene. I thought often of Moods and the chapters about Sylvia, Adam, Geoffrey and Max in their boats on a river just like this.

corinna robinson

To be quite honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy Alcott’s Moods, especially when compared to the other works we’ve read so far (much like our beloved Susan Bailey). Moods felt very slow-moving to me, and I did not grow to care as much for the characters as I typically do (and did in “La Jeune” and Behind a Mask). I didn’t dislike Sylvia, but she seemed a bit flat to me, and I didn’t have much of an opinion on which man she should marry (if she chose to marry either). I do think, however, that Moods offers readers an interesting look into Alcott’s own feminist and religious views. During her lifetime, Alcott was an avid supporter of women’s rights, and her spirituality was highly influenced by both the transcendentalist movement and the Unitarian Universalist faith that she and her family practiced.

Regarding feminism, Moods displays Alcott’s…

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Recently uncovered story by a teenaged Louisa May Alcott creating quite the buzz

How would you like to be the author that finishes a story started by Louisa May Alcott? And be published in a prominent magazine? Read on ... Many of you are probably aware of a story written by then 17-year-old Louisa May Alcott uncovered at the Houghton Library and published in the current issue of …

Photo of half-brother of John Suhre (of Hospital Sketches) discovered

I am happy to share a discovery made by John Matteson, Pulitzer prize-winning author of Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father.  My thanks to him for sharing the following photo. John writes, "This is the photograph of Michael C. Lowry, the half-brother of John Suhre. Michael was also killed at …

An explanation of Homeopathy (the treatment of choice by the Alcotts)

This is a fascinating article that explains with great clarity the scope and nature of  homeopathic medicine (my thanks to Dr. Norbert Hirschhorn  for this referral). Bronson and Abba Alcott were firm believers in Homeopathy, using its treatments and medicines (in lieu of a doctor) during the outbreak of smallpox in the family in 1850, …

“Let the World Know You Are Alive”: May Alcott Nieriker and Louisa May Alcott Confront Nineteenth-Century Ideas about Women’s Genius

I am pleased to share with you a wonderful essay about the professional lives of Louisa  May Alcott and May Alcott Nieriker written by Lauren Hehmeyer, a professor of History and English at Texarkana College. Professor Hehmeyer presented at the May Alcott conference in Paris in June of 2018 (see previous post) and is currently …

“Marmee and Louisa” book discussion: Introduction – why Abba Alcott?

Eve LaPlante’s ancestral link with the Alcotts extends to readers of Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother a unique and intimate connection to this family. In the introduction, she mentions a trunk in her attic, passed down by an aunt. Although it and other treasures have been in …

What attracted Abigail May to Bronson Alcott? Beginning a book club discussion of “Marmee and Louisa” by Eve LaPlante

I am pleased to announce that we will be doing a book discussion in the coming weeks on Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and her Mother by Eve LaPlante. Each Thursday I will do a post on one chapter of the book, giving a brief reflection and offering discussion questions. …

A great gift for the little man or woman in your life: Little Women: 150th-Anniversary Annotated Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

There is always room for another annotated version of Little Women as seen by this beautiful version published by Penguin Classics.  Featuring a modern cover that ought to appeal to younger readers,  Little Women: 150th-Anniversary Annotated Edition is a physically appealing book; I was immediately attracted to it the moment I started  thumbing through the pages. …

The rise and fall of Bronson Alcott, in his own words

In pulling together my research for my biography on Elizabeth Alcott, I found the need to comb through Richard Herrnstadt’s enormous volume containing the vast majority of Bronson Alcott’s letters.* It requires a great deal of time to go through anything related to Bronson not only because of the amount of pages but because of …

Treasure trove for students of Alcott

Remember that phrase from "Peanuts" by Charles Schulz - "Happiness is"? Happiness is ... spending the afternoon perusing in-depth articles on the Alcotts. Pages and pages of articles by the finest Alcott scholars covering a wide variety of topics. All of these can be found on jstor.org. You do not have to be affiliated with …