2014 Summer Conversational Series: Margaret Fuller and the Problem of Female Genius

The Conversational series welcomed back a perennial favorite in John Matteson whose Pulitzer-prize winning book Eden’s Outcasts is a standard in Alcott scholarship. He has also written a fine book on Margaret Fuller called The Lives of Margaret Fuller; she was the focus of his presentation entitled “ ‘The Mind in the Full Glow of …

My 3 days with Louisa May Alcott (part four): connections between Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Fuller

Note: This post is longer than usual. I had considered running it in two installments but thought it would lessen the impact of its message by doing that. So sit back with a cup of coffee, relax and read. 🙂 Two ladies, same vision Two New England feminists, both heavily influenced by transcendentalism. Both in …

My 3 days with Louisa May Alcott (part two): “Marmee and Louisa:” author Eve LaPlante unveils her important new book

Everyone knows the phrase, “Behind every great man stands a woman.” In the case of Louisa May Alcott, it’s a “great woman.” Who was the woman that stood behind her? She is Louisa’s mother, Abigail May Alcott, commonly known as Abba. An inside look at the life of Abba Alcott Eve LaPlante, author of Seized, …

The core of Louisa May Alcott’s feminism explains her timelessness

After writing yesterday's post on Polly's modern sensibilities, I thought about what Louisa May Alcott's core belief was which motivated her feminism, and why she was so effective in imparting it. Autonomy My conclusion? Louisa's feminism was based on autonomy - the right of every woman to be autonomous,  the freedom for each woman to …

Final Thoughts on “Mr. Emerson’s Wife”

Reading the last few words, I slowly closed Mr. Emerson’s Wife and felt a welling up inside of emotion. I was so tied to the character of Lidian Jackson Emerson that I felt they were her emotions too. This is how Amy Belding Brown's book hit me. I lived inside of Mr. Emerson's Wife for …

Need book recommendations about Transcendentalism

I would like to read some basic books on Transcendentalism and its famous writers (Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Fuller, etc.) that are not too scholarly (for now) just to get a better, objective idea of what the tenants of it are. I had started reading American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever and was enjoying it but after …