I am pleased to present this 54 minute video presentation on my interpretation of the life of Louisa May Alcott, as told through her family. As there would be no Jo March as we know her without Marmee, Mr. March, Meg, Beth, and Amy, there would be no Louisa May Alcott without Bronson, Abigail, Anna, Elizabeth, and May.
This talk was presented in Dec. 2021 at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette, Michigan and in March, 2022 at the Kutztown Community Library, Kutztown, PA. Here are some comments I received:
“Thank you so much for that presentation. It was wonderful.”
Jacqueline Sharayko, Assistant Director
Kutztown Community Library
“I loved the look on your face when you were talking about her at times – you have that affectionate smile that is really nice to see. We love her so much! You did a marvelous job, I learned a lot, too. I thought I I knew a lot about her but you did such a beautiful job. So glad I was able to tune in, thank you so much!”
“My wife and I very much enjoyed your presentation last night; we also learned a lot! Thanks so much for sharing your passion for Louisa with all of us!”
Ken and Pam Betz
I haven’t given you an update since April of 2021 on my progress but I am pleased now to say that Chapter 2 has been edited and the first draft of Chapter 3 is complete.
Chapter 3 proved quite the challenge. I covered the seven-month-long Fruitlands experiment (June, 1843 through January, 1844) and the Alcotts’ brief time in Still River before returning to Concord (January to October 1844).
It is no exaggeration to say that there is a mountain of information on this important yet short period in their lives. The Fruitlands era is difficult to understand, let alone write about succinctly. The only way that works for me is the immersion technique — take as many notes as I wish so as to be completely drenched in the philosophies, emotions and turmoil of that period, and then begin to consolidate before writing. Getting down the first draft synthesizes it further. The editing process will complete the trimming so that only what matters to the story of Lizzie comes through in the end. It is a draining, tedious, and yet exhilarating experience. You really have to love the process, and I do. I am so blessed that my various health problems interfere little with writing.
During this time, I had an opportunity to read a variety of stimulating books, from fiction, to spiritual, to academic, many of which I have reviewed for BookTrib.com. I revised an old practice of journaling as I read which is helping me to discover a bolder voice within. I believe that voice is emerging in Chapter 3.
I have also found tremendous support in a round table group of women from Biographers International who are devoted to rediscovering the lives of forgotten women. We meet monthly for zoom meetings and discuss our work, and we email a lot in between. This group of accomplished, published authors has done much to build my confidence and chase away doubt.
Certainly the inclusion of my essay in the recently published anthology, The Forgotten Alcott: Essays on the Artistic Legacy and Literary Life of May Alcott Nieriker (Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group) has done much embolden me as a writer. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up in a book with so many distinguished Alcott scholars! Or that anything I would write would end up in college and university libraries. As Amy Grant once sang, “Life is a curious thing!”
I begin today to assemble my research for Chapter 4 and the Hillside era. It is here where Lizzie speaks for the first time. I can hardly wait to immerse myself in her thoughts.
p.s. Your support has been phenomenal! I am deeply grateful to all of you for accompanying me on this grand journey.