A Worse Place than Hell: John Matteson’s Personally Guided Odyssey through the Civil War

  John Matteson did not win the Pulitzer Prize for his first book, Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and her Father, simply because he wrote a good biography. At the time, Eden's Outcasts was an ambitious effort of a dual biography, exploring the lives of daughter and father while also analyzing their …

Book review: “A Worse Place than Hell” by John Matteson

The Lives of 5 Historical Figures Intersect in A Worse Place Than Hell A Worse Place Than Hell is a masterpiece, a must-read.  Find out more on my BookTrib.com review:     Are you passionate about Louisa May Alcott too? Subscribe to the email list and never miss a post! Keep up with news and free …

“Let Genius Burn,” a Louisa May Alcott podcast on her life and legacy coming in 2021, co-hosted by Jamie Burgess and Jill Fuller.

I am pleased to present this guest post by Jill Fuller and Jamie Burgess. Early April, sunrise. The tree branches are still black against creamy pink sunlight, and I am at my kitchen table surrounded by a stack of books, my laptop, and a mug of coffee. It is our fifth week of lockdown, and …

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…

View original post 693 more words

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. …