Living history – Marianne Donnelly as Louisa May Alcott

“What fun we had this evening when Louisa May Alcott came to visit her childhood home at Fruitlands!” Facebook post from the Fruitlands Museum It was indeed great fun taking in the living history performance by actress and historian Marianne Donnelly at the Fruitlands Museum Vistor’s Center. Her bigger-than-life portrayal of Louisa May Alcott was …

Three-part series on Bronson Alcott at Fruitlands Museum: genius or crackpot?

Last Wednesday I attended the first of three lectures on Bronson Alcott at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, presented by Helen Batchelder, a local scholar. Fruitlands in the dark I have never been to Fruitlands before in the dark and it was disconcerting to see the lights over the mountains, reminding me it was …

A dream book launch–Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message makes its debut at The Barrow Bookstore in Concord

For an author obsessed with all things Alcott, does it get any better than this? Launching a book about the most famous Alcott, Louisa, in The Barrow, a bookstore housed in a building owned by descendants of Anna Alcott Pratt in the heart of Concord, Massachusetts ... it's a dream come true. A book store …

The million dollar question, and the priceless answer

Following up with my last post about the lecture I attended at New North Church featuring John Matteson, author of Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, there is a question I have wanted to ask Matteson since I started reading his book almost two years ago. How is it that …

A feminist manifesto: wrapping up Work A Story of Experience (part two)

“…Work is an expression of Alcott’s feminist principles and a major effort toward synthesizing in popular, readable form the broad set of beliefs encompassing family, education, suffrage, labor and the moral reform of social life that defined feminist ideology in the nineteenth century.” (pg. 191 from Critical Essays on Louisa May Alcott edited by Madeleine …

From Alcott Memoirs: Bronson from the point of view of a grateful student

In his book, Alcott Memoirs, Dr. Frederick Llewellyn Hovey Willis spends much time describing the special relationship he shared with Bronson Alcott, and the profound effect Bronson had on Dr. Willis’ life. As a teenage boy, Willis spent many hours in conversation with Bronson and recorded some of these in his journal. Thus we have …

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 …