I am participating in In the Bookcase’s Louisa May Alcott Challenge. Basically, just read some LMA during the month of June! I thought I would do this to help me with my Alcott Year through the Women’s Classic Literature Event at the Classics Club, where I have decided to get to know LMA through her works…especially because I never read Little Women. Yeah. I know….
During this month I plan to read:
Finish Little Women
Read:~the Madeleine Stern bio of LMA
~Transcendental Wild Oats
~Behind a Mask; or A Woman‘s Power
~selections from her Journals, including Fruitlands, Emerson’s Death
July 1, 2016
Wrap-up of the Louisa May Alcott Challenge, June 2016
I am very happy with what I accomplished this month even though, as usual for these kinds of challenges, I bit off more than I could chew…er read. Still, I feel this was a great success because it helped push me forward in my Classics Club Women’s Literature Event with my choice to do an ‘Alcott Year.’ So thank you Tarissa for organizing this and to all the other participants!
- I finished Little Women and reviewed it here.
As a first read I enjoyed it immensely and believe it will be one of those books to reread from time to time.
- “Transcendental Wild Oats” This is a short story based on the Alcott family’s experience in communal living. While it is very humorously written, according to her journal entries of the time, it was an extremely difficult period in her family’s life. Still, parts made me laugh out loud and it is a good illustration of the perils of life in ‘utopia.’
- From her journal I read “Fruitlands,” which is the real life account of her father’s experiment in living and working the land as a reflection of his spiritual, philosophical and educational beliefs. What a challenging time for his wife and daughters!
- “Emerson’s Death” Another journal entry. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a long and close friend of the Alcotts. As a young girl, Louisa spent time in his library guided by his reading choices and they remained close throughout his life. At his death she said, “Our best and greatest American gone.” She named the essays Self-Reliance, Compensation and Friendship as writings that “helped me to understand myself and life, and God and Nature.”
- American Masters-Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women (2009) While perusing Amazon Prime this past week I came across a fine dramatized life of Louisa May Alcott. Elizabeth Marvel plays LMA and all her words are taken from Louisa’s journals and letters. Jane Alexander plays Ednah Cheney, who published a collection of letters, journal entries and a biographical commentary a year after Louisa’s death. Playing themselves are John Matteson, a well-known contemporary LMA biographer and interviews with Madeleine Stern, whose 1950 biography of Louisa May Alcott is still a standard work (which I haven’t quite finished) with fellow researcher and friend Leona Rostenberg.
- Louisa May Alcott, a biography by Madeleine B. Stern. Only half way through, but will keep reading. Stern spent her long life (she died in 2007 at 95) as a rare book dealer, researcher, writer and Alcott expert.
While I didn’t get to everything I listed, I am very happy with what I did accomplish. The only problem with this whole Louisa May Alcott project is the more I read, the more I find there IS to read! What an incredibly prolific writer.