feminism AND transcendentalism? in my assigned reading?

Thoughts on Moods by Corinna Robinson – well worth the read!

Another serene scene. I thought often of Moods and the chapters about Sylvia, Adam, Geoffrey and Max in their boats on a river just like this.

corinna robinson

To be quite honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy Alcott’s Moods, especially when compared to the other works we’ve read so far (much like our beloved Susan Bailey). Moods felt very slow-moving to me, and I did not grow to care as much for the characters as I typically do (and did in “La Jeune” and Behind a Mask). I didn’t dislike Sylvia, but she seemed a bit flat to me, and I didn’t have much of an opinion on which man she should marry (if she chose to marry either). I do think, however, that Moods offers readers an interesting look into Alcott’s own feminist and religious views. During her lifetime, Alcott was an avid supporter of women’s rights, and her spirituality was highly influenced by both the transcendentalist movement and the Unitarian Universalist faith that she and her family practiced.

Regarding feminism, Moods displays Alcott’s…

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Living history – Marianne Donnelly as Louisa May Alcott

“What fun we had this evening when Louisa May Alcott came to visit her childhood home at Fruitlands!” Facebook post from the Fruitlands Museum It was indeed great fun taking in the living history performance by actress and historian Marianne Donnelly at the Fruitlands Museum Vistor’s Center. Her bigger-than-life portrayal of Louisa May Alcott was …

Spring finally arrives in New England! A virtual kayak trip for city dwellers

Whenever I am outdoors, especially in the kayak, I feel like I am drinking, drinking, drinking. It’s a sweet elixir that fills my soul. I imagine Thoreau and Louisa felt this way; she wrote about in Moods. It was because of that passage that I christened my kayak the Sylvia Yule.

I took Sylvia out on her maiden spring voyage and wanted to share the trip with you.

Be as One

Many of you around the country endured a harsh winter (especially you in the Midwest). Endless snow. Frigid temperatures. Dreary dark and shortened days. Our winter here in New England was long and hard and spring has been slow to come.

But finally, Spring is here!

Some of you nature lovers are lucky enough to live in the suburbs or the countryside and can just step outside your door to drink in the warmth and greenery. You can open a window and hear a chorus of birds beginning at 4:30 am just when the darkness is starting to lift.

Some of you nature lovers however live in the city where it is harder to enjoy these things. I dedicate this kayak trip to you and hope you can soon get outside and enjoy the springtime weather.

My husband Rich and I kayaked on Lake Wildwood in Upton, MA:

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Rich hoped he…

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The pain of writing is performing the surgery, as demonstrated by Louisa May Alcott and Jo March

Over the past few weeks I wrote the longest piece I have ever written, over 6000 words. Life has been far too busy for my taste lately so I could only work on it in bits and pieces. I have my hour carved out first thing in the morning for writing, beginning with the first …

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 …

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 …

Talking about Louisa on the radio!

Last week I was invited to be interviewed by the Extreme Writers Now forum on Blogtalk radio. The interview took place on Sunday night and we had a free-for-all discussing Louisa's works and legacy. It was great fun and I was honored to be a part of it. You can listen to the interview here …

A last journey on the Sylvia Yule before the winter comes

I had the very rare opportunity yesterday of actually having 2 hours of free time lining up with beautifully warm weather in the middle of October! I jumped on it. 🙂 I grabbed the Sylvia Yule and went down to the local boat launch to take a final kayak trip before the cold weather settles …

Tapping into my inner Thoreau; play-acting as Sylvia Yule

It's vacation time again with more opportunities to visit Concord. The more times I visit, the more I want to see. A trip down the Sudbury River to Great Meadows I enjoy kayaking very much and so took a trip down the Sudbury River, launching from the bridge off of Lowell Road, just off of …

The core of Louisa May Alcott’s feminism explains her timelessness

After writing yesterday's post on Polly's modern sensibilities, I thought about what Louisa May Alcott's core belief was which motivated her feminism, and why she was so effective in imparting it. Autonomy My conclusion? Louisa's feminism was based on autonomy - the right of every woman to be autonomous,  the freedom for each woman to …