Places that are redemptive, and damning: Monday presentation by Stephen Burby at the Summer Conversational Series

Note: Mr. Burby kindly gave me his presentation (handwritten notes and all) in lieu of the fact that I was unable to attend the Monday session of the Summer Conversational Series. I thank him for doing so. This is a longer post than usual as I found his presentation to be quite thought-provoking. * * * …

Alcott Immersion Warning: the wondrous things that can happen when you study too much!

After four years of constant reading, study, writing and pondering on one family, I think I understand now how actors prepare for their roles, and the subsequent consequences of their immersion into their characters. Taking on the Louisa persona I'm acquainted with a couple of people (Jan Turnquist and Marianne Donnelly) who, as actresses, take …

Today in Alcott history …

The American Literary Blog reports: The first of what became four installments of Hospital Sketches was published in the magazine Boston Commonwealth on May 22, 1863. Later, in book form, it carried the subtitle "An Army Nurse's True Account of Her Experiences During the Civil War." The author, Louisa May Alcott, had spent about six weeks …

First thoughts on March

I decided upon reading March that I would read with an open mind. Fan fiction is a risky business (although calling March “fan fiction” doesn’t feel quite right, it’s a decidedly more serious work). The reader comes in with all kinds of pre-conceived notions and expectations, and the author can quickly fall out of favor …

See the hospital where Louisa May Alcott served during the Civil War

I found this article today which includes a picture of the hospital where Louisa served during the Civil War, plus a photo of the first edition of Hospital Sketches. The diary which the author refers to can be downloaded for free on Google Books. The author is Kevin Konrad, a graduate from the Richard Stockton …

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 …

Here’s some good background for “Hospital Sketches”

This article from Nurse.com provided some excellent background for the emergence of women in nursing during the Civil War. It was truly new and Louisa May Alcott was right in the forefront, volunteering her services. She of course wrote about those experiences in Hospital Sketches. The Civil War and Nursing By Cathryn Domrose Friday April …