First thoughts on March

I decided upon reading March that I would read with an open mind. Fan fiction is a risky business (although calling March “fan fiction” doesn’t feel quite right, it’s a decidedly more serious work). The reader comes in with all kinds of pre-conceived notions and expectations, and the author can quickly fall out of favor …

Eight Cousins: Educating Rose

Uncle Alec affected big changes in Rose’s life as chapters 7 and 8 of Eight Cousins demonstrate.Joy lackingEarly in the book, there were several reasons why Rose was a timid, teary child (the untimely death of her dear father, too many “cooks in the kitchen” with all her aunts, etc.). Much of the joy had been …

The art of conversation, Bronson-style

Through his illustrious life, Bronson Alcott used many means to preach and teach his unique message of transcendentalism. In the early part of his career he used his gifts as a teacher to educate the young through the art of conversation (see previous post). As he believed the Divine resided in each child, he sought …

Intimate letters

Well, I haven't finished it yet but I wanted to share the second anecdotal volume I got from the Worcester Public Library, Little Women Letters from the House of Alcott by Jessie Bonstelle and Marian De Forest, published in 1914. Origin of the book - inspired by Jo Both women felt compelled to compile this …

Book Review: Louisa May Alcott Her Girlhood Diary

Since a children's biography (The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard) introduced me to Louisa, I have a special fondness for children's books on the subject. During a recent trip to the Worcester Public Library, I discovered Louisa May Alcott Her Girlhood Diary, edited by Cary Ryan with illustrations by Mark Graham. It …

Finding his mission: Bronson Alcott, part 2 (reflections on Eden’s Outcasts)

How did a remote and poor farm boy evolve into a visionary educator? This is one of the great questions regarding Bronson Alcott for which I wanted answers.  John Matteson in Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father provides some interesting insight. In the beginning In the first chapter Matteson traces  …

Amy’s Art

I have the pleasure today of presenting a guest post by artist Amy Hintze. I happened to find two watercolor paintings of a scene out of the lives of the Alcott family on Google and was led to her website. Amy is a painter for Music and the Spoken Word, a weekly broadcast with the …

This question needs your input . . .

I got a fantastic question from Jillian, a good friend of this blog regarding Bronson and Louisa. I'd love your input: If Bronson Alcott was a follower of Transcendentalism (self-reliance), why does he scold Louisa May for filling her journal with thoughts of self?   I have my theory but I'd like to hear yours …

An Artist without the Temperament: How Rare!

In reading May's accounts of her travels and adventures, and hearing how other family members saw her, it occurs to me that May Alcott Nieriker is the first artist I've ever 'met' that didn't have the artist temperament. How do I know? I should know, I've been 'blessed' with one. 🙂 My art teacher in …