Wrapping up Little Men: Jo creates her own utopia

The final chapter of Little Men, “Thanksgiving,” states the true nature of Plumfield in plain language. But the book, more a series of short stories under a common theme rather than a novel, already lays out the vision through the stories. Still, it is quite satisfying to hear Jo lay out her vision of a …

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A Louisa May Alcott Christmas: “The Little Red Purse”

From the Christmas Tales and Stories collection (Laura Ciolkowski, editor) comes a sweet, albeit typical offering from Louisa May Alcott known as "The Little Red Purse." Even though the essence of the story is very familiar (rich little girl learns how good it is to give to the poor), Louisa always manages to insert something …

A Louisa May Alcott Christmas: “A Christmas Turkey, and How It Came”

From the Barnes and Noble collection of Christmas stories by Louisa May Alcott called Christmas Tales and Stories (edited by Laura Ciolkowsk) comes a sweet tale with a lot of fodder between the lines for those of us well-acquainted with the life of Miss Alcott. "A Christmas Turkey, and How It Came" The premise is familiar: a …

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: …

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 …

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 …