Did the real-life Amy know Laurie? Apparently so, and they were good friends! How do we know? Through a stash of letters at the Houghton Library from May Alcott to Alfred Whitman. Who was Laurie based upon? Alf is one of two boys on whom Laurie from Little Women was based (the other being Louisa's …
from LW 150 blog: Dreaming of “castles in the air” and where they may lead us.
By Angela Hubler
“Wouldn’t it be fun if all castles in the air which we could make could come true and we could live in them?” says Jo, in chapter 13, “Castles in the Air.” Jo thus encourages utopian dreaming, not only by Laurie and her sisters but by generations of readers, revealing why this text has been a touchstone for artistic and ambitious women for 150 years. Laurie and the March girls express their hearts’ desires, and as the novel progresses each sister achieves—at least to some degree– what she has pined and labored for: Meg is mistress of the “lovely house, full of…pleasant people”; Jo writes books “out of a magic inkstand”; Beth remains “at home safe with father and mother” until she flies in at “that splendid gate”; and Amy goes to Rome and develops her talents as an artist.
Of course, generations of critics have argued…
View original post 431 more words
The celebration continues on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women. The Concord Free Public Library, home to the largest collection of original Alcott manuscripts, hosted Alcott scholars Joel Myerson from the University of South Carolina and Daniel Shealy from UNC Charlotte, both of whom gave their first joint lecture on Alcott. A …
from Pink Umbrella Books: Verena Demel is studying in Munich and brings an interesting perspective to “Camp Lawrence” – great followup to yesterday’s post on the same from the LW 150 blog.
In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Verena Demel, German student and lover of all things Alcott.
Contributor Verena Demel reads an English version of Little Women surrounded by various translations and adaptations of the novel in Germany. Betty und ihre Schwestern, referenced in her essay, sits on her lap.
What is your favorite scene from Little Women?
I have to talk about each part of Little Women because for me; the parts are quite different.
Part 1: Actually, impossible! All the Christmas scenes, castles in the air, Jo visiting Laurie, Beth and Mr. Laurence . . . but I would say “Camp Laurence,” the whole chapter. It’s an interesting chapter. It’s very different in some of my distinct retellings of Little Women, like whether Kate Vaughn is really rude…
View original post 828 more words
From the LW 150 blog: Here’s an interesting take on “Camp Lawrence.”
By A. Waller Hastings
Like many of the chapters of Little Women, chapter 12 – “Camp Laurence” – could be a self-contained short story, moving along a trajectory from the arrival of invitations to the picnic to a satisfactory day’s end, when Mr. Brooke responds to the British Kate’s observation that “American girls are very nice when one knows them” with the comment “I quite agree with you.” What more is needed?
The first half of the book, covering a year in the March family’s lives while Father is away at the war, is constructed as a series of such episodes. If chapter 12 could function independently, though, it also fits into the overall arc of the novel, in two ways. First, it offers additional evidence about the characters and romantic attachments of several characters. And second, it is a rare chapter that makes explicit, if satirical, reference to…
View original post 472 more words
From Pink Umbrella Books: Having read “The Courtship of Jo March” by Trix Wilkins (and loved it), I was especially interested in her essay, “Why Jo Says No (and Why We Care),” and she nailed it! From “Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy.”
In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Trix Wilkins, writer, Aussie, and Alcott enthusiast.
Contributor Trix Wilkins, photographed by her seven-year-old son, reads Little Women across from the iconic Sydney Opera House.
What is your favorite scene from Little Women?
I love the New Year’s Eve ball where Jo and Laurie officially meet. They have an interesting and free-flowing conversation, and of course that wonderful dance in the hallway that happens because Jo says she can’t show the burn in her dress and Laurie says let’s dance anyway. It’s a lot of fun. I think this is the first time in the novel we see Jo unburdened—no thoughts of money or war or work, just joyful moments—and being the person she might always be in the company of such a friend…
View original post 998 more words
From the LW 150 blog: This is the second of two takes on the chapter, “Experiments.” This is a truly unique insight!
By Mark Gallagher
Louisa May Alcott was deeply affected by the Fruitlands experiment. While she eventually wrote a satirical history of it, her first published commentary on her father’s failed utopia appears in Chapter 11 of Little Women, “Experiments,” where the March sisters indulge in the “all play, and no work” lifestyle that led to Fruitlands’ failure and the near ruin of Alcott’s family.
The chapter begins on June 1st, the same day Fruitlands was founded in 1843. Meg is relieved of her governess duties for the summer, while Jo is reprieved by a vacationing Aunt March. Deciding that lounging is the preferred course of inaction, all four sisters abandon their domestic duties for a week of personal freedom. Mrs. March consents, “You may try your experiment for a week, and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play, and no…
View original post 665 more words