The Curious Autodidact

January 13, 2010

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

the woman more interesting than her characters

Thought not a fan of the book “Little Women” I have always been interested in the transcendentalist movement and the group of authors who lived in Concord during Louisa May Alcott’s childhood and beyond. When I heard a Diane Rehm podcast of author Harriet Reisen talking about her well-researched biography of Ms. Alcott and the involvement in the abolitionist movement I wanted to know more.

It is a brilliantly written book about the Alcott’s struggle for food and shelter and Louisa May’s determination to lift the family from poverty with her written gifts. Readers will gain a sense of her time and place in history and the progressive ideas this community encouraged. Well researched and equally well-written this book gives readers a “you are there” feeling for the times of slavery and civil war and the struggle of women in a male dominated culture.

There is an accompanying film that was done by PBS but has only been aired but once that I missed seeing. It’s part of the American Master’s series so I will look forward to viewing it.

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