Cover image for Marmee & Louisa : the untold story of Louisa May Alcott and her mother
Title:
Marmee & Louisa : the untold story of Louisa May Alcott and her mother
Author:
LaPlante, Eve.
ISBN:
9781451620665
Personal Author:
Edition:
1st Free Press hardcover ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Free Press, 2012.
Physical Description:
ix, 368 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map, geneal. table ; 25 cm.
Contents:
A good child, but willful -- Drawing toward some ideal friend -- Humiliating dependence -- Sacrifices must be made -- This sharp sorrow -- Looking to my daughter's labors -- To drag life's lengthening chain -- The best woman in the world -- Mother, is it you? -- A dead, decaying thing -- Left to dig or die -- Paddle my own canoe -- The bitter drop in this cup -- From May to March -- Welcome to my fortune -- Thou excellest them all -- Stay by, Louie -- I believe in dreams -- Exploring the America of Abigail & Louisa May Alcott.
Abstract:
The author argues that Louisa's "Marmee," Abigail May Alcott, was in fact the intellectual and emotional center of her daughter's world--exploding the myth that her outspoken idealist father was the source of her progressive thinking and remarkable independence.

"Based on newly uncovered family papers, this groundbreaking and intensely moving portrait of Louisa May Alcott's relationship with her mother will completely transform our understanding of one of America's most beloved authors. Since its release nearly 150 years ago, Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women has been a mainstay in American literature, while passionate Jo March and her calm, beloved "Marmee" have shaped generations of young women. Biographers have consistently credited her father, Bronson Alcott, for Louisa's professional success, assuming that this outspoken idealist was the source of her progressive thinking and remarkable independence. But in this riveting dual biography, Eve LaPlante explodes those myths, drawing on unknown and unexplored letters and journals to show that Louisa's "Marmee," Abigail May Alcott, was in fact the intellectual and emotional center of her daughter's world. It was Abigail who urged Louisa to write, who inspired many of her stories, and who gave her the support and courage she needed to pursue her unconventional path. Abigail, long dismissed as a quiet, self-effacing companion to her famous husband and daughter, is revealed here as a politically active feminist firebrand, a fascinating thinker in her own right. Examining family papers, archival documents, and diaries thought to have been destroyed, LaPlante paints an exquisitely moving and utterly convincing portrait of a woman decades ahead of her time- and the fiercely independent daughter who was both inspired and restricted by her mother's dreams of freedom. A story guaranteed to turn all previous scholarship on its head, Marmee & Louisa is a gorgeously written and deeply felt biography of two extraordinary women and a key to our understanding of Louisa May Alcott's life and work." -- Publisher description.
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