Alcott, Louisa May
- Katharine M. Rogers
Alcott, Louisa May (29 November 1832–06 March 1888), author, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott, an educator and philosopher, and Abigail May, the energetic, philanthropic daughter of a prominent liberal Boston family. Louisa grew up in Concord and Boston, suffering from poverty as a result of her selfish idealist father’s inability to support his family. Bronson Alcott habitually sacrificed his wife and daughters by refusing to compromise with a venal world, most conspicuously when he subjected them to an experiment in ascetic communal living at Fruitlands farm in 1843. However, the Alcotts’ intellectual environment was rich and stimulating: Louisa’s parents assiduously encouraged her writing, and their friends included leaders in abolition and women’s rights, including the Transcendental philosophers ...