Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge: Pedlar’s Progress by Odell Shepherd–uncovering the essence of Bronson

I never thought I’d be saying this, especially when it comes to Bronson Alcott but Pedlar’s Progress, a biography on the life of Alcott by Odell Shepherd, is turning out to be an epic read. It may rank among the top ten books on my lifetime list. A satisfying tactile experience Could it be because …

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On the journey to harmony–Thoreau, the Sound Map and opening up the inner eye

I recently tried a couple of the exercises in Corinne Hosfeld Smith's book, Henry David Thoreau for Kids--"Record Wild Animal Behavior" and "Draw a Sound Map." It was a wonderful time outdoors and I was surprised how much I heard! Here's my Sound Map: I wrote more about this on my other blog (Be as …

Recent discovery of Thoreau’s notes sheds light on tragic drowning of Margaret Fuller

The Houghton Library at Harvard University has acquired the complete set of notes made by Henry David Thoreau as he visited the site of Margaret Fuller's drowning along with her husband and little son aboard the steamship Elizabeth. Here is a teaser from the article, published in the Harvard Gazette: A recent Houghton Library acquisition …

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 …

The million dollar question, and the priceless answer

Following up with my last post about the lecture I attended at New North Church featuring John Matteson, author of Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, there is a question I have wanted to ask Matteson since I started reading his book almost two years ago. How is it that …

A visit to Fruitlands where Louisa took up the family cross

Back in October I took a trip to Fruitlands in Harvard, MA, only about 40 minutes from my home. That visit sparked a long period of binge reading on the subject which is why, in the dead of winter, I’m only getting around to writing about that visit now. A paradox Having immersed myself in …

The boys in Louisa May Alcott’s life

From the pages of Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag comes an intriguing memoir of the boys in Louisa May Alcott's life, "My Boys." From one "boy" to another Louisa had always preferred the company of boys and wished she had been born one herself.  She particularly favored the age when boys were "regarded as nuisances till they are …