“Let the World Know You Are Alive”: May Alcott Nieriker and Louisa May Alcott Confront Nineteenth-Century Ideas about Women’s Genius

I am pleased to share with you a wonderful essay about the professional lives of Louisa  May Alcott and May Alcott Nieriker written by Lauren Hehmeyer, a professor of History and English at Texarkana College. Professor Hehmeyer presented at the May Alcott conference in Paris in June of 2018 (see previous post) and is currently …

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Marmee and Louisa Book Discussion: Chapter Two “Drawing Toward Some Ideal Friend”

As a 19th century woman from a well-connected family, nineteen-year-old Abba Alcott was decidedly unconventional. She resisted the idea of marriage, preferring instead to study while nurturing dreams of opening her own school. Abba dreaded the pairing that had been arranged for her with cousin Samuel May Frothingham; his unexpected death freed her from that …

Chapter XXXII. Tender Troubles

Jo and Beth shared a special relationship, including things in common. My take on “Tender Troubles” from Little Women.

Little Women 150

By Susan Bailey

Marmee was worried about Beth and for good reason. Her daughter was quieter than usual, even withdrawing from her father. She would cry when visiting with Meg’s babies. Her music was tinged with sadness. Unable to draw Beth out, Marmee asked Jo to find out what was wrong.

Jo thought she had the answer: Beth was in love with Laurie. But in her lack of experience with matters of the heart, she misread the signs. Does a girl in love stare out of a window with a tear sliding down her cheek? Does she cry over her little niece and nephew because she is longing for Laurie? Why would she withdraw from her family?

Jo tried to look at the bright side when it came to her favorite sister even if the signs were pointing in the opposite direction. Hoping that Beth had moved beyond her lingering…

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Marmee and Louisa Book Discussion: Chapter One “A good child, but willful”

Born on October 8, 1800, Abigail May came from a long line of wealthy, prominent Boston families. They included the Sewalls (Judge Samuel Sewall, the “repenting judge,” who had presided over the Salem Witch Trials to which he spent the rest of his life atoning for those actions), the Mays (who fought in the American …

“Marmee and Louisa” book discussion: Introduction – why Abba Alcott?

Eve LaPlante’s ancestral link with the Alcotts extends to readers of Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother a unique and intimate connection to this family. In the introduction, she mentions a trunk in her attic, passed down by an aunt. Although it and other treasures have been in …

Call for proposals for Orchard House’s Summer Conversational Series

Here is this year's call for proposals for the Orchard House Summer Conversational Series. Visit louisamayalcott.org for more information. Are you passionate about Louisa May Alcott too? Subscribe to the email list and never miss a post! Keep up with news and free giveaways on Susan's books, Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, and …

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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