Follow-up to “What was ailing Louisa May Alcott?”

Harriet Reisen sent me a section from her book, Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women that nicely summarizes Drs. Hirschhorn and Greaves' article (see post): Chapter 17: “The Cream of Things,” (page 271 in hardback) “Louisa continued to believe Dr. Kane’s 1870 diagnosis, that mercury poisoning from calomel lay at the root of …

“Love and Self-Love,” another early success story for Louisa May Alcott

As I continue to slowly go through Susan Cheever's Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography and read yet more background, I came upon a story of Louisa's that related to her  incident at the Mill Dam where she nearly threw herself into the water in despair,  to end her life. That story, "Love and Self-Love" …

“Pauline’s Passion and Punishment”

I'm currently reading chapter 6 in Susan Cheever's book, Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography which focuses on the years of 1863-65 when Louisa would serve as a nurse in the Civil War, and taste her first literary successes. Louisa had been writing her "blood and thunder" tales to earn money for "the pathetic family" …

From Hillside to Thoreau to Irish Immigrants

I just finished the section in Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography by Susan Cheever about the 3-1/2 years the Alcott Family spent at Hillside (must make a point of touring Hillside, now known as the Wayside, next summer). Cheever spent a couple of pages on Thoreau and how Louisa felt about him and it …

Catching up on Susan Cheever’s new biography on Louisa

At 257 pages, I would have thought that my read of Susan Cheever's Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography would have been quick and easy. Not so, especially since I've adopted the habit of taking notes as I read! This reminds me of school. 🙂 But I can't tell you how many times I have …

Richard Francis unveils his new book on Fruitlands at the Concord Bookshop

Yet another new book on the Alcotts has been released, this one written by British scholar and professor Richard Francis. Entitled Fruitlands The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia, this book is destined to be the definitive work on the failed Fruitlands experiment conducted by Bronson Alcott (with wife and daughters including young Louisa), …

Meeting author Susan Cheever at book signing

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Cheever, author of the newest biography on Louisa, Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography. Susan is doing a book tour mostly on the East Coast, and came to Tatnuck's in Westborough, MA on Saturday, Nov. 13. Speaking to Alcott enthusiasts and burgeoning writers, Susan first spoke about the …