Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 497 pages
62 Reviews
Louisa May Alcott's name is known universally. Yet, during her youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson an eminent teacher, lecturer, and admired friend of Emerson and Thoreau. Willful and exuberant, Louisa flew in the face of all her father's intricate theories of child rearing. She, in turn, could not understand the frugal life Bronson preached, one that reached its epitome in the failed utopian community of Fruitlands. In a family that insisted on self-denial and spiritual striving, Louisa dreamed of wealth and fame. At the same time, like most daughters, she wanted her father's approval. As her father struggled to recover from a breakdown and slowly resurrect his career, Louisa learned to support her family, teaching if she must, but finally finding her vocation in writing. This story of their tense yet loving relationship adds dimensions to Louisa's life, her work, and the relationships of fathers and daughters."
  

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An excellently researched double-biography. - Goodreads
The book gives great insight into the Alcott's life. - Goodreads
If given for the writing, I don't think so. - Goodreads

Review: Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

User Review  - Marlena - Goodreads

I'm torn about my rating of this book. I would really like to give it a 3.5. I wish I would've read it before my brief visit to Orchard House this summer. The book gives great insight into the Alcott ... Read full review

Review: Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

User Review  - Jill Cordry - Goodreads

Although a biography of Louisa May Alcott could never be complete without that of her father, I would have liked a shorter book with less of Bronson. Read full review

Contents

Disgrace
3
Beginnings
13
A Birthday in Germantown
39
The Temple School
55
Orpheus at the Plough
86
The Sowing of the Seeds
116
First Fruits
134
Lost Illusions
150
War
260
Shadows and Sunlight
285
Journeys East and West
308
Miracles
334
The Wise and Beautiful Truths of the Father
355
Come Up with Me
400
Notes
429
Bibliography
465

Father and Daughter
165
Destitution
196
Orchard House
233

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About the author (2007)

John Matteson holds doctoral degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden's Outcasts and is the author of The Lives of Margaret Fuller. He is a distinguished professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where he lives.

Bibliographic information