A blunt, controversial psychological study of Miss Alcott — Katharine Anthony’s 1937 biography

The 1930s was an interesting time in Alcott scholarship. The year 1932 marked the one hundredth year of Louisa’s birth. 1938 not only marked the 50th anniversary of Louisa and Bronson’s death but also the 70th anniversary of the publication of Little Women. Thus in 1937, two important biographies were released – Odell Shepherd’s Pedlar’s …

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Book Review: Fruitlands Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect by Gloria Whelan

One of you (Julie) gifted me with a wonderful book and once I picked it up, I could not put it down. The book, geared for older children, is called Fruitlands Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect by Gloria Whelan. A lost diary The premise of the book is based on Louisa’s diary kept at Fruitlands. …

The unknown players of Fruitlands – finally hearing their voices

What was it like to live at Fruitlands? Serious Alcott biographers have devoted much ink to the family’s experience during this six-month utopian experiment. Sometimes thoughtful, often absurd and always dramatic, Fruitlands is credited with both the shaping of the famous daughter, and a change in the power structure of the Alcott marriage and family …

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 …

A quick update

I realize it's been nearly a month since I posted and I wanted to let you know why. I am hip deep in reading. And it started with a field trip to Fruitlands in Harvard, MA. And it will end there too. After visiting Fruitlands, I wanted to read more about it. I ended up …

Louisa’s ode to her cat could be an ode to mine

I was flipping through Harriet Reisen's fine book, Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women and found this poem by Louisa (on page 112)  that she published in her family's weekly newspaper, The Olive Leaf (the real-life version of The Pickwick Papers in Little Women). It so totally described how I feel about my …

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 …