Annotations for Marmee & Louisa : The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother


Baker & Taylor
A great niece and cousin of Louisa May Alcott draws on newly uncovered family papers to present a moving revisionist portrait of her relationship with her mother, challenging popular beliefs about father Bronson's primary influence to demonstrate how Abigail May served as the intellectual and emotional center of Louisa's life. By the award-winning author of Salem Witch Judge. 40,000 first printing.

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Baker & Taylor
A great niece and cousin of Louisa May Alcott draws on newly uncovered family papers to present a revisionist portrait of Louisa's relationship with her mother, discussing how Abigail May served as the intellectual and emotional center of Louisa's life.

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Book News
Drawing on newly discovered family papers, LaPlante, a New England author who is a cousin of Louisa May Alcott and great-niece of Abigail May Alcott (the model for "Marmee" in Little Women), offers new insights into their relationship as a source for Louisa's fiction. In this dual biography, LaPlante recounts their unstable family life as the daughter and wife of a charismatic but chronically indigent man, and provides interesting historical context. She takes Abigail out of Bronson Alcott's shadow, giving due to a woman who was a progressive thinker/writer herself. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Simon and Schuster
Louisa May Alcott was one of the most successful and bestselling authors of her day, earning more than any of her male contemporaries. Her classic Little Women has been a mainstay of American literature since its release nearly 150 years ago, as Jo March and her calm, beloved "Marmee" have shaped and inspired generations of young women. Biographers have consistently attributed Louisa's uncommon success to her father, Bronson Alcott, assuming that this outspoken idealist was the source of his daughter's progressive thinking and remarkable independence.

But in this riveting dual biography, award-winning biographer Eve LaPlante explodes these myths, drawing from a trove of surprising new documents to show that it was Louisa's actual "Marmee," Abigail May Alcott, who formed the intellectual and emotional center of her world. Abigail, whose difficult life both inspired and served as a warning to her devoted daughters, pushed Louisa to excel at writing and to chase her unconventional dreams in a male-dominated world.

In Marmee & Louisa, LaPlante, Abigail's great-niece and Louisa's cousin, re-creates their shared story from diaries, letters, and personal papers, some recently discovered in a family attic and many others that were thought to have been destroyed. Here at last Abigail is revealed in her full complexity--long dismissed as a quiet, self-effacing background figure, she comes to life as a fascinating writer and thinker in her own right. A politically active feminist firebrand, she was a highly opinionated, passionate, ambitious woman who fought for universal civil rights, publicly advocating for abolition, women's suffrage, and other defin-ing moral struggles of her era.

In this groundbreaking work, LaPlante paints an exquisitely moving and utterly convincing portrait of a woman decades ahead of her time, and the fiercely independent daughter whose life was deeply entwined with her mother's dreams of freedom. This gorgeously written story of two extraordinary women is guaranteed to transform our view of one of America's most beloved authors.

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