Susan Cheever on Louisa May Alcott

Monday, November 15, 2010

Susan Cheever discusses the life of writer Louisa May Alcott. Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography is an account of Alcott’s life, based on extensive research, journals, and correspondence, that portrays her as an idealists who led the charge in support of antislavery, temperance, and women’s rights.


Susan Cheever

Comments [10]


The poem "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti is a good example of that sort of Victorian era "sisterly" relationship.

I could hardly believe my eyes when that popped up in an anthology.

Nov. 15 2010 01:37 PM

I haven't read Woman in White.

My theory on Laurie, is that he is the perfected male version of the author herself (sort of like Edward in Twilight lol). I think Jo even says something to that effect upon meeting Laurie.

Nov. 15 2010 01:33 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Have you read "The Woman in White" - another example of a "sisterly" relationship that mimics a traditional male/female romance.

Nov. 15 2010 01:25 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Sophia, you're right, I hadn't even thought about that, but it makes sense.

Nov. 15 2010 01:24 PM


I completely agree with that theory. The only passion Jo directs towards any character is towards Beth.

That does not read as a sisterly relationship to me, and I don't believe that the difference is due to a different era. Austen's sister's no matter how affectionate towards each other do not behave in this way.

Nov. 15 2010 01:23 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Oh, and also that Laurie represented the "female" and that Jo represented the "male," this gender swap contributing to their difficult relationship .

Nov. 15 2010 01:21 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Sophia, I've read articles proposing that Jo was NOT sexually interested in men and that neither was Louisa, hence the lack of sexual passion between Jo and Bhaer.

Nov. 15 2010 01:18 PM
Mike from Tribeca

I hope your guest will address Ms. Alcott's parents' experimental farm, Fruitlands, which among other things banned tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks, milk, and warm bathwater, as well as vegetables that grew downwards, like potatoes. Only "aspiring vegetables" that grew upwards were allowed.

Nov. 15 2010 01:18 PM

What an odd spin to put on the Laurie/Jo/Bhaer situation.

Jo feels ZERO sexual passion towards Bhaer. Bhaer's character discourages all of Jo's unruly emotions and passions in a way Laurie never did.

Nov. 15 2010 01:14 PM
Marielle from Brooklyn

I hope she will discuss the sensation stories and novellas and the way she repudiated them in Little Women - one of the most fascinating aspects of her life as a writer, I think.

Nov. 15 2010 01:13 PM

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