Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Orchard House in Concord, MA

Hello all! I'm back in Austin after spending some time with friends and family in Boston, Massachusetts. I had a wonderful time even though the weather was cool and rainy throughout my stay. It's all good as I definitely enjoyed a reprieve from the Texas 100+ days and brought some of that rain back home with me. On this trip, I ventured to Concord, Massachusetts to tour homes and sites of famous writers. I walked around Walden Pond, toured the The Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott lived with her family and wrote Little Women. She and her family were great friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thoreau.

It was sobering and inspiring to realize that Louisa was the best paid writer of her time - she earned about $150,000 for Little Women. It was very evident that her parents nurtured her and her sisters to be whatever they wanted in an age when women were not supposed to have careers or even their own desk! I kept thinking about how wonderful it was to grow up in such a progressive environment rich with talent, writing, philosophy, and ideals. The Alcotts were vegetarian and abolitionists. Louisa's father was a teacher and founder of "Transcendentalism" - he even started his own school of philosophy (see photo below). Can you imagine what the dinner table discussion must have been like?

More to come!