Since 1868 Louisa May Alcott has been a household name because of her book, Little Women, which charmed the nation in the aftermath of a Civil War. And at that time many folks knew about her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, a Transcendentalist from Concord, educator, author, builder of utopias, conversationalist and friend of Emerson and Thoreau. This is the story of their relationship – of a man driven to achieve some kind of idealistic moral and spiritual perfection here on earth and the feisty little girl who strove for his approval.
The subject of Bronson Alcott is totally fascinating to me – Louisa not so much although I enjoy her writing (which is not true of Bronson’s) (heh). Matteson writes beautifully with a slightly Victorian era style totally appropriate to the material. The notes are adequate, the graphics a bit scanty for my tastes but they are there.
This is a great starter dual biography for someone who is familiar with the names but a bit shaky on the details of the lives involved. It might also be a good book for someone who has some background because there are lots and lots of juicy little tidbits. I was fascinated. Oh, and this was the second time reading for me and I almost never reread non-fiction. This one was worth it.