Little Women and the meaning of agape love by Dr. Cathlin Davis

Dr. Cathlin Davis, a perennial favorite at the Summer Conversational Series gave a sermon at her church about Little Women! A rare discussion about the religious element of the Louisa May Alcott classic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKRddg9-TLM

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Chapter XIV. Secrets

From the LW150 blog: Lovely thoughts on growing up, from Chapter XIV, “Secrets.”

Little Women 150

By Jacinta Mioni

It was just another sweltering June afternoon in Kansas, the summer between my fifth and sixth grades, when I happened upon a shelf in my local public library dedicated to the works of Louisa May Alcott. The rest of that summer vacation was spent in the air conditioning, immersed in the lives of Alcott’s characters. Thirteen years later, you can imagine how my breathe quite literally caught in my throat when I saw the course listing for English 720 at K-State, a class dedicated solely to the creator of my childhood heroes and heroines, of whom I was particularly fond of the March sisters. Of course, I enrolled in the class immediately and I want to give you a little peek into our classroom and its many lively discussions.

A theme that has resurfaced several times in our consideration of Little Women, and one that fascinates…

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Did the real Amy March get together with the real-life Laurie? Letters between May Alcott and Alf Whitman

Did the real-life Amy know Laurie? Apparently so, and they were good friends! How do we know? Through a stash of letters at the Houghton Library from May Alcott to Alfred Whitman. Who was Laurie based upon? Alf is one of two boys on whom Laurie from Little Women was based (the other being Louisa's …

Chapter XIII. Castles in the Air

from LW 150 blog: Dreaming of “castles in the air” and where they may lead us.

Little Women 150

By Angela Hubler

“Wouldn’t it be fun if all castles in the air which we could make could come true and we could live in them?” says Jo, in chapter 13, “Castles in the Air.” Jo thus encourages utopian dreaming, not only by Laurie and her sisters but by generations of readers, revealing why this text has been a touchstone for artistic and ambitious women for 150 years. Laurie and the March girls express their hearts’ desires, and as the novel progresses each sister achieves—at least to some degree– what she has pined and labored for: Meg is mistress of the “lovely house, full of…pleasant people”; Jo writes books “out of a magic inkstand”; Beth remains “at home safe with father and mother” until she flies in at “that splendid gate”; and Amy goes to Rome and develops her talents as an artist.

Of course, generations of critics have argued…

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“Duty chains me to my galley:” Examining the publishing process of Louisa May Alcott – a lecture by Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy

The celebration continues on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women. The Concord Free Public Library, home to the largest collection of original Alcott manuscripts, hosted Alcott scholars Joel Myerson from the University of South Carolina and Daniel Shealy from UNC Charlotte, both of whom gave their first joint lecture on Alcott. A …

Little Women Legacy: Best Wishes from Bavaria with Verena Demel, Featured Author

from Pink Umbrella Books: Verena Demel is studying in Munich and brings an interesting perspective to “Camp Lawrence” – great followup to yesterday’s post on the same from the LW 150 blog.

In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Verena Demel, German student and lover of all things Alcott.

Verena

Contributor Verena Demel reads an English version of Little Women surrounded by various translations and adaptations of the novel in Germany. Betty und ihre Schwestern, referenced in her essay, sits on her lap.


What is your favorite scene from Little Women?

I have to talk about each part of Little Women because for me; the parts are quite different.

Part 1: Actually, impossible! All the Christmas scenes, castles in the air, Jo visiting Laurie, Beth and Mr. Laurence . . . but I would say “Camp Laurence,” the whole chapter. It’s an interesting chapter. It’s very different in some of my distinct retellings of Little Women, like whether Kate Vaughn is really rude…

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Chapter XII. Camp Laurence

From the LW 150 blog: Here’s an interesting take on “Camp Lawrence.”

Little Women 150

By A. Waller Hastings

Like many of the chapters of Little Women, chapter 12 – “Camp Laurence” – could be a self-contained short story, moving along a trajectory from the arrival of invitations to the picnic to a satisfactory day’s end, when Mr. Brooke responds to the British Kate’s observation that “American girls are very nice when one knows them” with the comment “I quite agree with you.” What more is needed?

The first half of the book, covering a year in the March family’s lives while Father is away at the war, is constructed as a series of such episodes. If chapter 12 could function independently, though, it also fits into the overall arc of the novel, in two ways. First, it offers additional evidence about the characters and romantic attachments of several characters. And second, it is a rare chapter that makes explicit, if satirical, reference to…

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