This presentation was given on May 24, 2018 at the
Swampscott Public Library.
May 24, 2018 — “From Metaphysics & Christian Science to
‘Little Women:’ The Alcott Family’s Connections to Swampscott and Lynn”
©2018 Susan W. Bailey
Abstract: Between 1839 and 1876, Swampscott and Lynn hosted members of Louisa May Alcott’s family. Progressive educator, reformer and philosopher Bronson Alcott lectured in Lynn and came into contact with notable locals Mary Gove Nichols, woman’s rights and health reform advocate, and Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. In 1854 youngest daughter Abbie May (“Amy” from Little Women) vacationed for a month at King’s Beach. Three years later Mrs. Alcott returned with the ailing Elizabeth (“Beth”) providing the setting and inspiration for Jo and Beth’s poignant sojourn to the seashore in Little Women. Alcott aficionado and author Susan Bailey (a member of the Breed family) will share fascinating details about these visits including interactions with local citizens, drawing from family
correspondences and journals as well as town records.