Books and Movies Reviews

Little women

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), the second daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail “Abba” May was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. At an early age, Louisa and her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts where her father pursued his teaching career by setting up the Temple School. Bronson Alcott was well known for his controversial teaching methods, which relied more on student involvement and a belief that children should enjoy learning. In 1840 the family moved to Concord where prominent American author and close friend of the Alcott’s, Ralph Waldo Emerson, helped the family to set up residence. Louisa enjoyed the county atmosphere of Concord and found her time divided between acting out plays with her sisters, which she had written, and nature walks with Henry David Thoreau. In 1843 the Alcott family took part in an experimental communal village known as the Fruitlands. Here Bronson Alcott wished to further his beliefs in transcendentalism and bring his daughters a greater understanding of nature. Unfortunately the project failed and the family returned to Concord in 1845 taking up residence at Hillside.
Unable to guarantee his family a steady income, Bronson moved the Alcotts back to Boston in 1849. At this point, Louisa began to feel more and more responsible for her family’s financial needs and started taking on as many jobs as a young girl could find. She began reading for an elderly father and his invalid sister, but this eventually turned sour when Louisa received next to nothing for her work. At the same time, Louisa and her sister Anna took to teaching small children and mended and washed laundry in an effort to help provide for the growing Alcott family. In 1852 Louisa’sfirst poem, “Sunlight” was published in Peterson’s magazine under the pseudonym, Flora Fairfield. Although modest payment was received, Louisa was beginning a career that would bring her great fame and end her financial worries.

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