Marmee and Louisa Book Discussion: Chapter One “A good child, but willful”

Born on October 8, 1800, Abigail May came from a long line of wealthy, prominent Boston families. They included the Sewalls (Judge Samuel Sewall, the “repenting judge,” who had presided over the Salem Witch Trials to which he spent the rest of his life atoning for those actions), the Mays (who fought in the American …

Louisa May Alcott was not the only Alcott working off sexual energy

From Women and Health in America (first edition) there is this intriguing essay titled "What Ought to Be and What Was: Women’s Sexuality in the Nineteenth Century" by Carl N. Degler. Quoting Dr Charles Taylor, 1882— “It is not a matter of indifference whether a woman live a single or a married life … I …

Revealing the real Abigail Alcott to the world must include Bronson

Slowly but surely I am getting through Abba’s letters in relation to my research on Lizzie Alcott. These letters cover a period from 1853 to 1858. Abba’s handwriting is difficult; it appears she often wrote in haste. Her eyesight was poor so it’s amazing she could write letters at all considering she was writing either …

Cynthia Barton’s Transcendental Wife on the life of Abigail Alcott a must read

Reading Eve LaPlante’s duo biography on Abigail and Louisa in Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother, I kept seeing references to a little-known book about Abigail titled Transcendental Wife by Cynthia Barton, published in 1996. Having just finished the book, I can see why LaPlante and other Alcott …

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 …

The solace I find in reading, writing and Louisa May Alcott

I rarely devote posts to personal musings but I just had to today. We just dropped off our twenty-seven year-old son at the bus station as he makes his way back to New York after a week at our home. He was granted an unexpected vacation from his job as a preschool teacher and was …

Book Review: Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante

This is a book that is long overdue. Anyone who has read Little Women and felt the overarching presence of Marmee (and the lack of presence of Mr. March) has to know just how important Louisa's mother was to her. Marmee was based on a living, breathing woman who was far more complex (and interesting) …