Highlights from Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

As part of the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge hosted by the In the Bookcase blog, I pledged I would read and post on Jo’s Boys and Anne Boyd Rioux’s latest, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. This post will be about Jo’s Boys. I am fortunate …

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In her own words: Inside the head and heart of Anna Alcott Pratt, newlywed

Anna Alcott Pratt was one of the better writers in the family. Fluid, thoughtful and  precise, her letters and journals provide valuable insight into Alcott family life. I have often referred to her as the family secretary since she presents each family member just as they are with no commentary on her part. The details …

1934 article in Photoplay Magazine provides description of Alcott girls by Jessica Lillian Cate Pratt, Anna’s daughter-in-law

NOTE:  I feel a need to append this post as I have heard from many of you about all the inaccuracies in this article. This seamless mixing of fact, fiction and mythology between the fictional  Marches and the real-life Alcotts is rather common in writing from this period. I've read several newspaper accounts from the …

Merry Christmas from Orchard House (and from me!) – a look back over an extraordinary year, and a look ahead

2017 has been a banner year for Alcott fans (and more is promised in 2018 and 2019 as the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women looms). As a result it has also been quite the year for this blog! Especially within the last several months, the growth of readership has been extraordinary. I …

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)  …

Read Anna Alcott Pratt’s diary from 1860-1861 — Meg March from Little Women talks about married life

Check out this find that I stumbled upon today; apparently the Houghton Library is beginning to make certain family papers available for viewing. I have always maintained that Anna Alcott Pratt was the family secretary--she was a good writer and reported clearly, accurately and with great detail all that went on within the family. I …

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 …