Public Appearances

From Metaphysics & Christian Science
to “Little Women:”
The Alcott Family’s Connections with Swampscott & Lynn

Thursday, May 24 at 7 pm
Swampscott Public Library

61 Burrill St., Swampscott, MA 01907

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. I will share fascinating details about these visits including interactions with local citizens, drawing from family correspondences and journals as well as town records.

Email me or call (781) 596-8867 for more information.

I am available for presentations on Louisa May and Elizabeth Sewall Alcott.

louisa and lizzie

“Susan’s presentation was appropriate for a diverse audience as she focused on broader spiritual issues and offered a unique lens for looking to favorite authors for inspiration and support in daily life.

Susan’s presentation was very organized, had engaging visuals, held people’s interest and sparked a good discussion. People lingered for some time after the presentation to talk. Hosting Susan was easy and enjoyable.

Susan Bailey is also a great resource for anyone interested in hosting a broader conversation about the Alcott family.”

Aladdine Joroff, Owner, Barrow Bookstore, Concord, MA
(read entire reference)

Topics include:

  • Spiritual treasures found in Alcott’s books (based on my book, Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message)
    • Including insights from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the spiritual underpinning for Little Women
  • louisa may alcott as muse, guide and grief counselor-560Alcott as muse, guide and grief counselor–reflections on her writing on suffering and death
  • Elizabeth Sewall Alcott – giving the Alcott shadow sister her voice and taking her far beyond Beth March
  • Reading the family letters–what is it like to read the Alcott family letters, to make out the scrawl, touch the paper and reflect on the writers of those letters? What do we learn about the Alcotts by this visceral experience?
  • Children’s story time–sharing Alcott’s charming juvenile short stories through animated readings and craft projects

Contact me (Susan Bailey) at to talk about a public appearance with your book group, at your library or at your church.

1-outside the barrow-640Check out my book launch for Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message at The Barrow Bookstore in Concord. 

Want to know what it’s like to go on a book tour? Check out my Gig Diary.