Recollections of Louisa May Alcott by Maria S. Porter, longtime friend in later life

Louisa May Alcott had numerous friends and admirers. Being writers themselves (or children of famous writers such as Julian Hawthorne, see previous post), these friends and admirers provide us with what I think are the most colorful biographical sketches of Louisa. No scholar can truly capture what a contemporary (especially a friend) can reveal through …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part three: Can you tell what’s real and what is made up?

Little Women  has been called autobiographical because Louisa May Alcott used so many episodes from her own childhood and that of her family to create the story. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Or does it even work like that? Stern says, “Fact was embedded in fiction, and a domestic novel begun in …

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part one

I have always maintained that Madeleine B. Stern’s Louisa May Alcott: A Biography is the standard bearer. Tracing the life of Louisa the writer, Stern gives penetrating insight not only into Louisa’s life, but her very essence as a writer. As a writer myself, I have found much wisdom in these pages and have marveled …

The first biography: Louisa May Alcott The Children’s Friend by Ednah Dow Cheney

The first book to be released on the life of Louisa May Alcott was Ednah Dow Cheney's Louisa May Alcott, The Children's Friend. A sweet and romanticized account of Louisa's life, this book was geared for the countless fans of Little Women and children of all ages.  Cheney, a longtime friend of the family (who …

Book Review: Fruitlands Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect by Gloria Whelan

One of you (Julie) gifted me with a wonderful book and once I picked it up, I could not put it down. The book, geared for older children, is called Fruitlands Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect by Gloria Whelan. A lost diary The premise of the book is based on Louisa’s diary kept at Fruitlands. …

Letter from an anguished mother: Abba writes of her sojourn with Lizzie to the North Shore

Work is progressing, albeit slowly, on my book project. I am enjoying all aspects of the process from the thinking and planning while I drive (I’m one of those crazies that talks to myself all the time), to the research, to the paragraphs percolating in my head, to the final writing. I’m falling more in …

Six women writers (including Louisa May Alcott) and their journeys as writers on film

There is a wonderful film online featuring the stories of six prominent women writers (including Louisa May Alcott, of course!. It is called Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to Write. Here is the summary from the website, Films on Demand Digital Educational Video: Behind a Mask: Six Women Finding a Space to …

Book review: Little Women An Annotated Edition, edited by Daniel Shealy

I am delighted when Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters (see previous post) offered to review this wonderful new edition of Little Women. Ed. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * There are two ways to read Daniel Shealy's …

New book: Little Women An Annotated Edition, edited by Daniel Shealy: it’s gorgeous!

I just received my copy of Little Women An Annotated Edition, edited by Daniel Shealy and I was stunned by the beauty of the book! Don't be fooled by the cover - it doesn't begin to tell the story. This is a gorgeous oversized edition (9.6 x 9.3 x 2 inches) with an elegant choice …

The million dollar question, and the priceless answer

Following up with my last post about the lecture I attended at New North Church featuring John Matteson, author of Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, there is a question I have wanted to ask Matteson since I started reading his book almost two years ago. How is it that …

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