Thanksgiving memories from one of Abba Alcott’s best friends, and an interesting parallel with Little Men

One of Abigail Alcott’s best friends was author and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child. A successful children’s author in the mid 1800s, Child is best known for a poem about Thanksgiving, part of which is set to music: Here is an image from her three volume book called Flowers for Children, of the first few stanzas: …

Advertisements

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part four: The All-American Novel makes a cherished dream come true

Little did Louisa May Alcott know that when she wrote Little Women, her classic book based upon her own family life and their “queer” adventures, she was writing the story that was on the heart of all Americans. Universal family It was time when American yearned for its own literature, its own family. The March …

Answers to the Little Women quiz; information needed on a late 19th-century British version of Little Women

Results of True/False Quiz I see some of you tried the True/False quiz of what was real and what was made up in Little Women. No one got 100% but you were very close! Here are the answers: Hannah the servant FALSE - The Alcotts could not afford any servants in those days The Christmas …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part three: Can you tell what’s real and what is made up?

Little Women  has been called autobiographical because Louisa May Alcott used so many episodes from her own childhood and that of her family to create the story. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Or does it even work like that? Stern says, “Fact was embedded in fiction, and a domestic novel begun in …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part two: Lots of borrowing

Louisa May Alcott was never bashful about borrowing from previous stories to flesh out Little Women. Several short stories set the stage for the classic: “The Sisters’ Trial” (four sisters, Leonore, Agnes, Ella and Amy facing going out to work to deal with the family’s poverty), “A Modern Cinderella” (depicting Anna and John as Laura …

Tracing the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part one

I have always maintained that Madeleine B. Stern’s Louisa May Alcott: A Biography is the standard bearer. Tracing the life of Louisa the writer, Stern gives penetrating insight not only into Louisa’s life, but her very essence as a writer. As a writer myself, I have found much wisdom in these pages and have marveled …

Little Men: “The Naughty Kitty-mouse:” Goodness Gracious!

 “Daisy and Demi were full of these whims, and lived in a world of their own, peopled with lovely or grotesque creatures, to whom they gave the queerest names, and with whom they played the queerest games. One of these nursery inventions was an invisible sprite called "The Naughty Kitty-mouse," whom the children had believed …