If you know me, you know I have a complete obsession with all things Alcott — the person, the family, the books, etc. I’m a “Little Women” junkie (I’m actually also a lifelong devotee to Laura Ingalls Wilder, but that’s for another post).
Orchard House, the house museum of Louisa May Alcott in Concord, MA, where she wrote Little Women is running a Kickstarter campaign in order to create a documentary about the house. This is how the official page describes the project:
The Documentary Project:
Everyone has a special place – a mountaintop, a cathedral, a beloved home – that makes them feel safe, connected, and inspired. For millions of people from all over the world, Orchard House is that place: a gathering place, where people from many backgrounds have come together for over 350 years to count themselves part of a community – a community steeped in hope, courage, and perseverance.
Many who wish to experience Orchard House may never be able to visit in person, and there are millions more that do not realize the house exists. Together with your pledges and our dedication, this film will change that.
The history of Orchard House includes the prolific Alcotts, of course, but other stories remain unexplored. Even a visit to the home cannot reveal all there is to tell about Orchard House. That’s why we need to make this documentary.
Our film will be an hour-long, PBS quality documentary that will dive deep into those stories starting in the 1600’s. We will tell of the courageous occupants before the Alcotts, including the rescuer of a kidnapped woman and a Revolutionary soldier. We will also offer insights about Concord’s rich literary history; chronicle the process of how the museum was created in 1911; and, of course, give a behind-the-scenes look into the Alcott family and their time in Orchard House. We will seek national and international distribution to share interviews with house staff, Alcott scholars, celebrity friends, and the people of Concord to illuminate the remarkable power of place Orchard House possesses.
You can see the whole project, read more, make a pledge of just about any amount, and see the details at:
We are SO CLOSE to reaching the goal of $150,000 and there are only a handful of hours left.
If you know me personally, you know I did NOT like “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I never reviewed it because I didn’t finish it (made it about 2/3 through). Anyhow — a friend jokingly suggested I read “Fifty Shades of Louisa May”, and I never gave it a thought until the other day when I was pondering how Fifty Shades was still on the NYT best seller list. Louisa May popped into my head and since it was less than $10 on Kindle, I bought it.
First, let me say I did not know what to expect with this book. If you know me, you know my passion for all things Alcott and that I hobnob with Alcott scholars and run around in a hoop skirt at the museum and just love, love, love that whole family. I was feeling a bit sensitive, for want of a better word, that someone might be maligning my beloved Alcotts. I have to say how surprised I was at how much I enjoyed this truly ridiculous read. First, if you think it’s like the original Fifty Shades, you are off the mark. It’s more of a satire on the time period of the Alcotts, Transcendentalism, and the social mores that held in New England in the 1800’s. It’s erotica that makes fun of erotica. I’m not a huge fan of erotica (to me, some things should just be left behind closed doors – or book covers, for that matter); but L M Anonymous (who claims to be Louisa’s spirit) writes in the voice and style of Louisa’s work (kudos to you for that, sir/madam!) and portrays the main players (Louisa, her sisters, her parents, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, even Melville) in caricature. Whoever wrote this book knows a LOT about these people and these places, and I have to wonder who is the real author. Someone I know? One of the Alcott scholars? I think not as there are a few minor factual errors that a true Alcott scholar would not make. But the level of detail included that is correct (e.g. what Louisa dreamed about when ill from typhoid fever; the true personalities of the main players) is there, so it’s definitely someone who has read extensively on the family and their friends. The best part of the book for me was trying to figure out who wrote it!
Now I can imagine that some folks would not “get” this book. Alcott lovers, like myself, could be offended (when you study great minds, you often overlook their sexuality). Those who want a read like Fifty Shades will most probably be disappointed. I can’t say I recommend this book – erotica is just not my thing and I generally don’t recommend books with graphic sexual content – however, if you are a lover of this time period and can imagine ridiculous scenarios (e.g. Melville playing peeping Tom to Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne; Louisa on a quest to lose her virginity) then you might enjoy it. I laughed out loud through much of it and read it in a few hours.