Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part two: Lots of borrowing

Louisa May Alcott was never bashful about borrowing from previous stories to flesh out Little Women. Several short stories set the stage for the classic: “The Sisters’ Trial” (four sisters, Leonore, Agnes, Ella and Amy facing going out to work to deal with the family’s poverty), “A Modern Cinderella” (depicting Anna and John as Laura …

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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 …

Personalizing Louisa through the reading of Little Women

Responding to my request, I am pleased to present a guest post by Jillian author of the A Room of One's Own blog. Jillian is exploring the classics and using her blog as a journal, sharing her reactions and insight. As a new student to the classics, I depend heavily on Jillian's blog to guide …

Guest blogger Gabrielle Donnelly (author of The Little Women Letters) shares the meaning of sisterhood. Plus, a book giveaway – Win The Little Women Letters!

I am pleased to present a guest blog by the author of The Little Women Letters, Gabrielle Donnelly. Recently I reviewed this fine book and had a chance to talk with Gabrielle via email about it. I was intrigued by her biography where it stated that she had no sisters but in fact had 4 …

The Little Women Letters promises to be a great summer read!

Summertime is here and I've lucked into some wonderful summer reading. I just started The Little Women Letters, the fifth novel by Gabrielle Donnelly, a British writer. The story is set in modern day London and tells the story of three sisters (Emma, Lulu and Sophie) who are direct descendants of Jo March. The middle …

Take a tour of the final resting place of the Alcotts

There's a terrific article on the Concord Patch written by a licensed Concord tour guide, Harry Beyer. He takes you on a tour of the Alcott family plot at Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Here's a teaser from the article: Louisa May was an active abolitionist, helping to shelter runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. She was also an early …

What makes Orchard House such a compelling historical site?

Here's a great essay by Klara Stephanie Szlezák where she concludes that staging is critical to the success of an historical homestead. Kudos to Orchard House for the brilliance of its staging which so beautifully captures not just the era Louisa May Alcott lived in, but her home, her family and her classic, Little Women. …