Louisa May Alcott and New England Reform: Racial Equality, Liberal Education and Women's Work, presented by Dr. Sharon Hartman Strom, University of RI

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2:00 PM-3:30 PM

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

Barnard Room (3rd Floor)

Sun, 2011-11-13 14:00 - 15:30

Louisa May Alcott is best known for writing Little Women (1868-1869), a thinly disguised memoir of her own family.  But her less known books, especially Little Men (1871) and Work (1873), were probably the novels for which she had particular affection.  In them she found a way to memorialize the causes her parents and their peers in Concord and Boston had promoted during the mid-nineteenth century: abolition, equality for African Americans, a humanist approach to child rearing and education, the plight of working women, and a revolt against the smothering of women in motherhood and housework.  A closer look at these books, their connection to Alcott’s life, and her identity as, above all, a hard working writer, tells us a great deal about her devotion to her parents, Abigail May Alcott and Bronson Alcott, and how much their ideas affected her views of New England society and her own place in it.

Sharon Hartman Strom taught the history of U.S. Women for nearly thirty years at the University of Rhode Island and has also specialized in the history of women in New England.  She is, in addition to other works, the author of Women’s Rights and of Political Woman: Florence Luscomb and the Legacy of Radical Reform


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