Thanksgiving memories from one of Abba Alcott’s best friends, and an interesting parallel with Little Men

One of Abigail Alcott’s best friends was author and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child. A successful children’s author in the mid 1800s, Child is best known for a poem about Thanksgiving, part of which is set to music: Here is an image from her three volume book called Flowers for Children, of the first few stanzas: …

On vacation with Louisa May Alcott: Last Day of the Summer Conversational Series – Being and Doing: Louisa explores herself and her beliefs through her writing (Part Two)

Cathlin Davis on Louisa’s philosophy of life Continuing with Day 4 of the series, Professor Cathlin Davis from California State University presented on “Practice Philosophy: ‘I want something to do.’” Through passages from Hospital Sketches, Work, Little Men and some of the rarer short stories (“May Flowers” from A Garland for Girls and “What Becomes …

On vacation with Louisa May Alcott: Day Two of the Summer Conversational Series – Louisa as a practicing Transcendentalist

Day Two of the Summer Conversational Series featured a fine array of speakers. Kristi Lynn Martin and Duty's Faithful Child Starting off the morning was Kristi Lynn Martin, a doctoral candidate at Boston University. Martin’s many years of experience as a tour guide at Concord’s finest historical homes (The Old Manse, “Bush” (aka the Emerson …

On vacation with Louisa May Alcott: Day One of the Summer Conversational Series – Health, Nature and Reform

Monday’s session of the Summer Conversational Series at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House was lively, funny and thought-provoking. A fellowship of sisters (and some brothers) gathered to enjoy talks from Gabrielle Donnelly, Kathleen Harsy and Kyoko Amano. Gabrielle Donnelly on Louisa’s health Donnelly, the author of the popular The Little Women Letters, presented “Louisa May …

Little Men: “The Naughty Kitty-mouse:” Goodness Gracious!

 “Daisy and Demi were full of these whims, and lived in a world of their own, peopled with lovely or grotesque creatures, to whom they gave the queerest names, and with whom they played the queerest games. One of these nursery inventions was an invisible sprite called "The Naughty Kitty-mouse," whom the children had believed …

Little Men: Autobiographical elements

Louisa May Alcott often drew from the deep well of memories to craft her stories. Little Men is full of such detail and it’s fun to pick out these autobiographical elements. Highlighting her father For example, Louisa gives us a revealing portrait of her father’s unique ideas about disciplining children in Chapter Four, “Stepping-Stones,” where the …

Little Men: The Good Man (chapter 3, “Sunday”)

As mentioned in a previous post about the art of domesticity, I have been reading Little Men, or Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys. The audio book version from Librivox.org has actually been my companion while doing yard work and gardening these past few Saturdays. Keeps my mind off of my aching joints and bones! …

Eight Cousins and Little Men: The art of domesticity

I am finally getting around to finishing Eight Cousins. I admit this book has not held my interest like I hoped it would but now that I’m getting closer to the end, I’m enjoying it more. Perhaps I know too much back story (such as the fact that Louisa didn’t really enjoy writing this type …

An evening with John Matteson: Bronson Alcott as educator, the family’s relevance, and the author’s personal journey

Hingham, Massachusetts’ New North Church has been running a three-part series on “The Alcotts” featuring Eve LaPlante (Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother, My Heart is Boundless: Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa’s Mother), John Matteson (Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father) and …

Little Men: Teachers as gardeners, reaping a rich harvest

I wanted to share with you a beautiful essay on Little Men from Crisis Magazine. The author of the piece, Mitchell Kalpakgian was himself a professor of English at Simpson College in Iowa for 31 years and certainly understands the special role of teachers, and the rich gift of a good one. Here is a …