Hear and see John Matteson discuss Eden’s Outcasts

Here is a video of John Matteson discussing his Pultizer prize-winning biography, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father. It appears to have been done at the School of Philosophy at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Update Watching the video while working - Matteson is charming! He says he was told …

Louisa May Alcott’s brand of feminism: final thoughts on “Moods,” thanks to Sarah Elbert

I finally finished reading Moods a few weeks ago but just couldn't comment on it. After reading both the 1864 and 1882 versions, I concluded that the book left me flat. The characters felt rather two-dimensional. Both versions ended differently and each ending seemed convoluted. It left me feeling the way I did after reading …

Need book recommendations about Transcendentalism

I would like to read some basic books on Transcendentalism and its famous writers (Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Fuller, etc.) that are not too scholarly (for now) just to get a better, objective idea of what the tenants of it are. I had started reading American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever and was enjoying it but after …

Louisa May Alcott’s spirituality, and her better self in Sylvia Yule

Finishing up chapter V in the 1864 version of  Moods ("The Golden Wedding"), I walked away with two thoughts, regarding Louisa's spirituality and her romanticized self in Sylvia Yule. Louisa May Alcott's Spirituality I want more than ever to write a longer treatise on the spirituality of Louisa May Alcott. Although she did not belong …

Wrapping Up Little Women Part Two – Mama and Papa Bhaer, and my favorite character

Chapter 46 of Little Women, "Under the Umbrella," should have been a glorious chapter for me since Jo and Fritz finally decided to get married. Instead, it was incredibly frustrating, though it wasn't all Louisa's fault. 🙂 I've been listening to an audio book during my long commute and the reader for that particular chapter …

Jo finds a new self in the Valley

Before I begin, I must say that right now I am positively swooning over the reading I am doing! Little Women is (sadly) winding down but surely going out with a bang. At the same time, Gone with the Wind is ramping up! It's so cool reading two books about the Civil War era (my …

A view of marriage from a decided spinster

Louisa May Alcott was an astute observer of life. Her description of Meg and John's first year of marriage in Chapter 28 of Little Women, Domestic Experiences, amazed me with its accuracy. She obviously studied her sister Anna and brother-in-law John Pratt's marriage carefully, probably without even realizing it. Her keen mind picked up on …

Beth’s influence is revealed; Jo and Laurie’s friendship grows; Amy shows some mettle

Just finished chapters 18 and 19, describing Beth's bout with scarlet fever, and Amy's 'exile' with Aunt March. Scarlet fever sounds like a pretty frightening illness, and we all know it inevitably led to Beth's death later on in the book. It's interesting how she really came to the forefront as a result of the …

Giving Beth her due – chapter 17 “Little Faithful”

I never seem to gravitate towards the mainstream. True to form, my favorite character in Little Women is not Jo (though she's my second favorite character). It is, instead, Beth. When I attempted to read Little Women as a young girl, Beth was always the one who caught my imagination. The attraction back then was …