Summer Conversational Series 2018: Anne Boyd Rioux: “Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters”

The last lecture of the day was given by Anne Boyd Rioux on her new book, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. First encounter with Little Women Anne did not read Little Women as a child; it had not given to her by her mother or grandmother. …

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Summer Conversational Series 2018: Elif Armbruster: “‘I rather miss my wild girl:’ Reclaiming Jo March as an original “Nasty Woman.”

Elif Armbruster is a new voice to the Summer Conversational Series. An Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston, she specializes mid-to-late 19th and early 20th century women’s literature. With the conception of both the “Nasty Woman” and #metoo movements, Elif developed a course on notable Nasty Women in literature. Of course, Jo …

Summer Conversational Series 2018: John Matteson: “Little Women at 150: A conversation”

The day began with a conversation with the venerable, entertaining and much-loved Pultizer-prize-winning Alcott author and scholar John Matteson. He remarked on his good fortune to have this association with Orchard House and everyone present admitting that “I come here and I don’t feel worthy.” The kindness, goodness, and dedication that he feels every time …

Why Little Women still matters: A review of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of a classic read by millions around the globe. Written by Louisa May Alcott, a writer under duress fulfilling the assignment of an insistent publisher, Little Women, in the words of Anne Boyd Rioux is the “paradigmatic book about growing up, especially for the female half …

All-star scholarly panel opens Summer Conversational Series 2018 honoring “Little Women”

It pays to keep up the Little Women Sesquicentennial site! I just saw today exciting information regarding the opening session for this year's Summer Conversational Series at Orchard House. The theme, of course, is "Little Women in the 21st Century - 150 Years of Inspiration." Traditionally the opening session features a panel discussion. This year …

A rare look at Louisa May Alcott’s life as an invalid and a patient

You never know what you will find out from a librarian. Or where research will lead you. That's what makes it so addictive. The Alcotts and Homeopathy My research on Elizabeth Alcott has recently led me into the world of alternative medicine. The Alcotts were followers of Homeopathy, a popular alternative to traditional medicine in …

“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, …