Fruitlands and Brook Farm – a closer look

I have two articles I'd like to share with you regarding utopian communities involving the Alcotts. The first is a list, compiled by Alcott scholar Joel Myerson, of the archives at the Fruitlands Museum. You will see that there are several unpublished papers from Abba and Anna along with a list of books the museum …

A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable?

Louisa’s yearning for private space and her glorious room at Hillside/Wayside always made me crave a special space too. I never dreamed it could be portable!

Here’s a picture of where her room was in the house at Wayside. Nathaniel Hawthorne changed the house after he bought it from Bronson and Louisa’s little room no longer exists. But you can stand in the space where it was. Very cool.


Be as One

What happens when you get the urge to create?

  • Do you retreat to a music studio to write a song?
  • Do you go to your specially designated study to write?
  • Do you paint your latest masterpiece in a light-filled studio?
  • Do you shut the door when you enter your room?

Why do secret hideaway places draw us like magnets?

I wanted a room of my own when I first discovered Louisa May Alcott as a kid. There was an illustration of Louisa in her special room where it was quiet and she could think. When she had finished writing her latest poem or story, she could indulge in her other favorite passion, running, by racing out the door to her room that led outside.

drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Getting away from the noise

Louisa’s family was noisy; quiet and privacy…

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Louisa’s calling card

I just found an article from the Rauner Library Blog from Dartmouth College detailing the story behind the calling card. The article features the calling cards of such luminaries as Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charles Dickens among others. These cards all have pictures. I never knew anything about the nature of …

Tapping into my inner Thoreau; play-acting as Sylvia Yule

It's vacation time again with more opportunities to visit Concord. The more times I visit, the more I want to see. A trip down the Sudbury River to Great Meadows I enjoy kayaking very much and so took a trip down the Sudbury River, launching from the bridge off of Lowell Road, just off of …

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 …

“How I Went Out to Service” – Louisa May Alcott’s humiliation

I am so glad I went on that buying spree a few months ago for books by and about Louisa because now as I plough through Susan Cheever's book, I actually have at my fingertips the vast majority of sources and stories she mentions. Chapter 4 talks in part about Louisa's foray into being a …

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