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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Success!

Today I am celebrating!

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

I am pleased to announce that I have finished the rough draft of Chapter One of my Lizzie book. After extensive research and nine years of stops and starts, I am finally getting this down on paper. It feels terrific!

A writer needs a strategy when putting together a book, and that can take a long time to figure that out. Once solved, the writing went so much faster. I had to figure out my methodology for writing this biography and stumbled upon the answer while reading about writing a fiction novel! It taught me how to build and use chronological order as the framework while still focusing on themes. My natural tendency is to be a thematic writer, and I am also very much into process. These two things can confuse the reader because exploring themes and processes can make the story hard to follow. I discovered this after…

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Exciting news from Walpole, NH, home to the Alcotts in the mid 1850s

Back in 2016, I visited Walpole, NH, home to the Alcott family from 1855-1857. Accompanied by Alcott scholar Dr. Kristi Martin, we had the pleasure of meeting Ray Boas, Walpole's town historian. He gave us a lovely tour of the town, pointing out the homes where Louisa and Anna had performed with the Walpole Amateur …

1934 article in Photoplay Magazine provides description of Alcott girls by Jessica Lillian Cate Pratt, Anna’s daughter-in-law

NOTE:  I feel a need to append this post as I have heard from many of you about all the inaccuracies in this article. This seamless mixing of fact, fiction and mythology between the fictional  Marches and the real-life Alcotts is rather common in writing from this period. I've read several newspaper accounts from the …

The Alcott daughters as beneficiaries of their parents’ progressive ideas on education

Recently I read an essay called “Women, Menstruation and Nineteenth Century Medicine” by Vern Bullough and Martha Voght which discussed how misinformation regarding women and menstruation prevented them from receiving an education. The essay covered familiar territory with regards to how the world of medicine regarded women’s health in the nineteenth century. (See previous post)  …

Changes to Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast, and promise of a “big reveal”

In the interests of simplifying the experience for you, "Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast!" will be featured strictly on this blog. It will no longer be available through iTunes or any other source but right here. Here are all the episodes. This way, you can have the blog post and podcast together …

Louisa May Alcott’s Walpole — visiting the NH town where the Alcotts lived from 1855-1857

On Saturday, Oct. 1 I had the distinct pleasure of touring the town of Walpole NH where Louisa May Alcott and her family lived in Walpole, NH from 1855 through 1857. I was accompanied by my sister Chris and friend Kristi Martin, a certified tour guide of the various Concord historical homes. The historical society …

Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! Episode Three: Louisa the runner, the real Beth’s piano, and more

"I always thought I must have been a deer or a horse in some former state, because it was such a joy to run." Louisa May Alcott, "Sketch of Childhood, by herself." Welcome to the third episode of Louisa May Alcott is My Passion: The Podcast! Welcome to the third episode of Louisa May Alcott …