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
6 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - christinejoseph - LibraryThing

@ Louisa + Bronson Alcott Pulitzer Prize - Winner Louisa May Alcott is known universally. Yet during Louisa's youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson, an eminent teacher and a friend of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

I'm very much the right audience for this book--I read Little Women and its sequels too many times to count when I was growing up, and in fact at one point named one of my dolls Louisa May Alcott ... 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 was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden's Outcasts and is also the author of The Lives of Margaret Fuller, which received the Ann M. Sperber Prize for Best Biography of a Journalist. He has been a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the Leon Levy Center for Biography. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award of the John Jay College Alumni Association and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Achievement from the Columbia University School of Arts and Sciences. Distinguished Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he lives in the Bronx.

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