LOUISA MAY ALCOTT: THE MOST CELEBRATED ARTIST OF THE 19TH CENTURY
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (1832-1888), the most acclaimed authoress of the renowned, celebrated and famed book Little Women for which she is best remembered for, was a varied and prolific writer who did much to promote the cause of women’s suffrage.
Louisa May Alcott was born in the time of the Industrial Revolution, on 29th November 1832 on her father’s (the prominent Transcendentalist, Amos Bronson Alcott) 33rd birthday. She was the second child of Amos and his wife, Abigail (Abba) May’s four daughters and was brought up in Fruitlands, Concord, Massachusetts. Certainly, Louisa was the product of two remarkable parents. They were such strong influences on her writing. Her family was a major part of her life: both parents encouraged her to write and her fictional characters are mostly based on her family.
Bronson Alcott, her father, was eventually to become the first Superintendent of Public Schools in Boston and to be acknowledged as an educational visionary, but this fame came only after he had wandered down several career paths. He was a thinker, a philosopher and an eccentric person but he had trouble bringing home ‘the bacon’. He lost many teaching jobs because he advocated well-lit, heated and comfortable classrooms as well as recess and sex-education. He also purchased textbooks for his poorer students. On the grounds of The Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts stands the school that he eventually founded, where for a time Louisa May Alcott taught. He often came home empty handed from lecture tours, because he hated to charge people.
Abba Bronson believed in her husband and often picked up the slack. She protected her daughters from the hard realities of life when they all lived at Fruitlands. The family was allowed to eat only what the land provided no meat, milk or eggs. They could wear only linen, as the cotton industry exploited the slaves in the South. Louisa and her sisters were...