Recent discovery of Thoreau’s notes sheds light on tragic drowning of Margaret Fuller

The Houghton Library at Harvard University has acquired the complete set of notes made by Henry David Thoreau as he visited the site of Margaret Fuller's drowning along with her husband and little son aboard the steamship Elizabeth. Here is a teaser from the article, published in the Harvard Gazette: A recent Houghton Library acquisition …

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2014 Summer Conversational Series: Margaret Fuller and the Problem of Female Genius

The Conversational series welcomed back a perennial favorite in John Matteson whose Pulitzer-prize winning book Eden’s Outcasts is a standard in Alcott scholarship. He has also written a fine book on Margaret Fuller called The Lives of Margaret Fuller; she was the focus of his presentation entitled “ ‘The Mind in the Full Glow of …

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: …

On vacation with Louisa May Alcott: Day Two of the Summer Conversational Series – Louisa as a practicing Transcendentalist

Day Two of the Summer Conversational Series featured a fine array of speakers. Kristi Lynn Martin and Duty's Faithful Child Starting off the morning was Kristi Lynn Martin, a doctoral candidate at Boston University. Martin’s many years of experience as a tour guide at Concord’s finest historical homes (The Old Manse, “Bush” (aka the Emerson …

On vacation with Louisa May Alcott: Day One of the Summer Conversational Series – Health, Nature and Reform

Monday’s session of the Summer Conversational Series at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House was lively, funny and thought-provoking. A fellowship of sisters (and some brothers) gathered to enjoy talks from Gabrielle Donnelly, Kathleen Harsy and Kyoko Amano. Gabrielle Donnelly on Louisa’s health Donnelly, the author of the popular The Little Women Letters, presented “Louisa May …

My 3 days with Louisa May Alcott (part four): connections between Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Fuller

Note: This post is longer than usual. I had considered running it in two installments but thought it would lessen the impact of its message by doing that. So sit back with a cup of coffee, relax and read. 🙂 Two ladies, same vision Two New England feminists, both heavily influenced by transcendentalism. Both in …

My 3 days with Louisa May Alcott (part three): John Matteson talks about his two favorite ladies

This was the day I was waiting for. Ever since I started reading Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, I have been dying to talk to John Matteson. His penetrating insights into Bronson and Louisa have forever changed the way I look at them (most especially Bronson). Unique understanding In …