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 …

Where did Louisa May Alcott’s sexual energy go? And what fueled it?

Julian Hawthorne once speculated about Louisa May Alcott: “Did she ever have a love affair? We never knew; yet how could such a nature so imaginative, romantic, and passionate escape it?” Choosing the life of a spinster Louisa made the conscious decision to remain single, preferring to “paddle my own canoe.” Much has been made …

Continuing to trace the steps of Little Women: Madeleine B. Stern’s brilliant analysis, part two: Lots of borrowing

Louisa May Alcott was never bashful about borrowing from previous stories to flesh out Little Women. Several short stories set the stage for the classic: “The Sisters’ Trial” (four sisters, Leonore, Agnes, Ella and Amy facing going out to work to deal with the family’s poverty), “A Modern Cinderella” (depicting Anna and John as Laura …

The boys in Louisa May Alcott’s life

From the pages of Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag comes an intriguing memoir of the boys in Louisa May Alcott's life, "My Boys." From one "boy" to another Louisa had always preferred the company of boys and wished she had been born one herself.  She particularly favored the age when boys were "regarded as nuisances till they are …