Thursday, June 12, 2008

Louisa May Alcott, Orchard House, MA

While in Concord, I also got to see Orchard House, the home where Louisa May Alcott lived with her two sisters, mother and father, and where she penned Little Women.  The house was adorable and all of the staff were in the Alcott spirit, sporting pearls, smiles and prairie print dresses.  The tour started with a video of Alcott's life (via impersonator) and then took us through a 30 minute tour of the house.  The guide was very informative and it was fun to learn about ALcott's personal life and how it influenced an infamous piece of literature (I was sort of inspired).  Each girl's bedroom was on display and May Alcott (AMY in Little Women) was a wonderful who was allowed to draw pictures of Greek gods and chariots on her bedroom walls.  Apparently, Alcott's family was also pretty poor until Louisa made money from her novel.  During the tour, we saw where the girls put on plays for their family (off the living room) and also had the opportunity to peruse the costume chest, where they chose garments for the performances.  

I was really excited to get a picture of the desk where Louisa wrote Little Women.  It was also really cool to see the titles of the books that she read.  From what I remember there was Goethe, Charles Dickens and books about "famous girls."  

Outside the house was a Little Women garden!... and a Concord School of Philosophy.  Emerson was a good friend of the Alcott family and would let Louisa borrow whatever books she wanted from his personal library!  

I do feel a greater connection to Little Women and I would like to read it again.  I remember that my eighth grade teacher disuaded me from this book choice because she thought it was too long.  Of course, I read it anyway, and faster, because of her doubt (maybe that was a technique).  I didn't remember all the details but I would like to buy it eventually for some other little woman. 

I also purchased a thimble in the Orchard House.  I'm going to put this into my "Memory Box," the vessel I'll use to contain all my momentos and classroom artifacts.  

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