Happy Birthday to two bigger-than-life minds and hearts: A. Bronson Alcott and Louisa May Alcott

Father and daughter, polar opposites in temperament. Both brilliant (he metaphysical, philosophical; she practical, from the heart). Both spiritual (Communion with The Spirit vs. "practical Christianity"). Both prolific writers. Both bigger than life. The Alcotts loved celebrating birthdays. Abba wrote back in 1851, "I seldom omit these occasions for showing my children the joy I …

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A rare look at Louisa May Alcott’s life as an invalid and a patient What would you like to know about the woman behind Beth March? “Poppy’s Pranks” reveals the childhood of Louisa May Alcott Comparing the March sisters with their real life counterparts Major acquisition by the Concord Library of Louisa May Alcott working …

Louisa May Alcott as grief counselor (on the fifth anniversary of this blog)

My obsession with Louisa played out in a rather odd way. Never a big reader until a few years ago, I’d find myself reading a biographical account of Louisa’s life (rather than read her own words) every few years. This began after reading Martha Saxton’s biography. After the reading (usually done during the autumn months) …

An audio interview with Harriet Reisen, author of Louisa May Alcott, The Woman Behind Little Women

The Wordy Birds site has a 28 minute interview with Harriet Reisen, author of Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women that I found quite interesting. Their description reads: In a fresh, modern take on the remarkable Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Reisen’s vivid biography explores the author’s life in the context of her works, …

My 3 days with Louisa (part 5): Houghton Library introduces me to Lizzie Alcott – up close and personal

My last of three days with Louisa was spent in the most intimate fashion, buried in papers written by the hands of her sisters and father at the Houghton Library at Harvard Square in Cambridge. What is Houghton like? Unlike Harvard’s main library, the Grand Dame known as Widener, Houghton is the little sister tucked …

Happy Birthday Bronson and Louisa!

From Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father , pages 48-49 by John Matteson On N0vember 29, 1832, a half hour past midnight, Abba gave birth fo a second daughter, whom Bronson described as "a very fine healthful child . . . a very find, bat, little creature . . . …

Listen to an interview with Roberta Trites regarding Louisa’s “blood and thunder” tales

Recently the Milner Library at Illinois State University hosted a series of programs as part of the ALA's "Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women"; they were one of many libraries around the country that received grant money from the NEH and the ALA. The series is based upon the best-selling biography of the …

One year old today! Celebrating with a special gift for you!

I recently watched again the PBS film Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women  and thoroughly enjoyed it.  To see Louisa portrayed on the small screen is just as thrilling as ever. This reminded me of how I started my blog 1 year ago today after reading the book. What a wonderful year it …

Louisa May Alcott’s brand of feminism: final thoughts on “Moods,” thanks to Sarah Elbert

I finally finished reading Moods a few weeks ago but just couldn't comment on it. After reading both the 1864 and 1882 versions, I concluded that the book left me flat. The characters felt rather two-dimensional. Both versions ended differently and each ending seemed convoluted. It left me feeling the way I did after reading …

Tidbits of news, and beginning a trip to Fruitlands

Just heard some awesome news from Jan Turnquist at Orchard House - the long missing papers of Madelon Bedell are now safely ensconced at Orchard House. As mentioned in yesterday's post, Bedell wrote a scholarly work entitled The Alcotts Biography of a Family; it was supposed to have been in 2 volumes but sadly, Bedell …