Experience The Wayside as Hillside – my latest article in the Fall 2021 edition of “Discover Concord”

When touring The Wayside, have you ever wondered how the house was laid out when the Alcotts lived there? My latest article in "Discover Concord" provides a first floor floorplan and descriptions of each room as it was used by the family. Visit https://issuu.com/discoverconcordma/docs/dcfall2021/48 to read the article. Bring it with you the next time …

Lizzie Alcott’s story told in quilts

The Littlest Woman: The Life and Legacy of Lizzie Alcott, the Real Beth March

I saw this article on a quilting blog and thought you might find it interesting. I wish I knew more about quilts and the significance of their design but perhaps some of you can offer help in your comments.

Here is the article:

Hands All Around #5: Star Puzzle for Elizabeth Alcott

Block #5 Star Puzzle by Becky Brown

A block for Elizabeth (Peabody) Sewall Alcott, the quiet sister. The puzzle may be: “How could anyone be quiet in that family?”

 Elizabeth (Peabody) Sewall Alcott (1835-1858) 
Crayon (chalk) portrait by Caroline Negus Hildreth 1857
Collection of Orchard House

Continue reading: http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/2021/05/hands-all-around-5-star-puzzle-for.html

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First draft of Chapter 2 of Lizzie book completed!

The Littlest Woman: The Life and Legacy of Lizzie Alcott, the Real Beth March

I am pleased to announce that I have completed the first draft of chapter 2 which focuses on the Alcott family’s first home in Concord. This was a fun chapter to write as there was much to say about the sisters. There are a couple of revealing letters from Bronson to Lizzie plus reminiscences from Lizzie’s best friend and next-door neighbor at the time, Lydia Hosmer.

Concordia (aka Dove Cote) courtesy of the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Society

Now that I have finally figured out the methodology for writing this book (and that has taken years as I am teaching myself), the writing goes along much faster. And as I edit, I learn new things — how will I make this book read like a novel rather than just a regurgitating of facts? What words and methods will I use to make the reader feel Lizzie’s story? And how will…

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Another stab at fiction – Father, sisters and childhood from Lizzie’s point of view

The Littlest Woman: The Life and Legacy of Lizzie Alcott, the Real Beth March

This is a series of scenes that I wrote for fun a few years ago. Sometimes I wish I didn’t work so slowly! I hope I stay healthy long enough to write a novel as well as a biography. I really love taking Lizzie’s point of view and seeing life as I imagine it through her eyes. But I can always write scenes. 🙂

This is the first draft.

Memories of Father

My first memory was of his face. It was a kind face with blue eyes like still pools, and I could see myself in them. Such a sweet countenance, one I could look at from morning till night. It broke into a smile, and a quiet voice spoke my name: “Elizabeth.” My arms shot up in an instant, hoping he would lift me.  He granted my wish, and as I snuggled close to his chest, he looked into…

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An explanation of Homeopathy (the treatment of choice by the Alcotts)

This is a fascinating article that explains with great clarity the scope and nature of  homeopathic medicine (my thanks to Dr. Norbert Hirschhorn  for this referral). Bronson and Abba Alcott were firm believers in Homeopathy, using its treatments and medicines (in lieu of a doctor) during the outbreak of smallpox in the family in 1850, …

Beginning the book on Elisabeth Sewall Alcott, and taking you on the journey

I have begun work on a biography of Elisabeth Sewall Alcott and will be sharing updates and thoughts the writing of this book through this special blog dedicated to Lizzie. I invite you to subscribe to the blog — click “Subscribe” located on the menus at the top of the page.

The Littlest Woman: The Life and Legacy of Lizzie Alcott, the Real Beth March

I have begun work at last on a biography of Elisabeth* Sewall Alcott; she is best known as the real life prototype of Beth March of Little Women, written by her older sister, Louisa May Alcott. After spending nearly 8 years researching her life, I am ready to write about it.

Diary of a biography

Writing such a book can take years to complete and the enormity of the task is overwhelming at times. This plus the fact that I am learning so many interesting aspects of writing biography inspired me to create this diary so that you can share in the experience. As I work through the steep learning curve of writing this book, I am hoping these posts will offer information that aspiring biographers will find helpful. It is also a way to hold myself accountable to you – to work in a disciplined manner and to…

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Upcoming presentation on the Alcott connection in Swampscott and Lynn, Massachusetts

From Metaphysics & Christian Science to “Little Women:” The Alcott Family’s Connections with Swampscott & Lynn Presented by Susan Bailey Thursday, May 24 at 7 pm Swampscott Public Library 61 Burrill St., Swampscott, MA 01907 Between 1839 and 1876, Swampscott and Lynn hosted members of Louisa May Alcott’s family. Progressive educator, reformer and philosopher Bronson …

What would you like to know about the woman behind Beth March?

I need your help. I am writing my book proposal for the biography on Elizabeth Alcott and I need more input from you as a fan of Little Women. Here are a few short questions -- if you could comment below with your answers, that would really help. And thank you! What would you most …

Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! Episode Two: Wrap-up of the 2016 Summer Conversational Series

"It's amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them." (from "Marjorie's Three Gifts," 1877) Welcome to the second episode of Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! During the next thirty six minutes I will give you an overview of the recent Summer Conversational Series, "'Finding Beauty …

Those unconventional Alcotts left behind quite the mark

The Alcotts were an atypical Victorian family to be sure. Along with rather unconventional philosophic and religious ideas as to how to live, the family did not subscribe to typical Victorian role models. Role reversal To begin with, Bronson’s refusal or inability to work to support his family necessitated that his wife Abba take on …