Eden's Outcasts

The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

By John Matteson
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393059649, 497pp.)

Publication Date: August 2007

List Price: $29.95*
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Description
Louisa May Alcott's name is known universally. Yet, during her youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson an eminent teacher, lecturer, and admired friend of Emerson and Thoreau. Willful and exuberant, Louisa flew in the face of all her father's intricate theories of child rearing. She, in turn, could not understand the frugal life Bronson preached, one that reached its epitome in the failed utopian community of Fruitlands. In a family that insisted on self-denial and spiritual striving, Louisa dreamed of wealth and fame. At the same time, like most daughters, she wanted her father's approval. As her father struggled to recover from a breakdown and slowly resurrect his career, Louisa learned to support her family, teaching if she must, but finally finding her vocation in writing. This story of their tense yet loving relationship adds dimensions to Louisa's life, her work, and the relationships of fathers and daughters.



About the Author
John Matteson holds doctoral degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden's Outcasts and is the author of The Lives of Margaret Fuller. He is a distinguished professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where he lives.
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