By Leonard Unger
Covers Jane Addams to Sidney Lanier
Read Online or Download American Writers Supplement I, Parts 1 & 2 PDF
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Additional resources for American Writers Supplement I, Parts 1 & 2
Exit Leonore) Rodolpho. Foiled again! Some demon works against me. 34 I AMERICAN The dramas are youthful studies in the possibilities of excitement. Alcott's first novel, Moods, was originally published in 1864 after the success of Hospital Sketches (1863), a witty and biting report on Alcott's adventures as a nurse during the Civil War. The sketches are the closest Alcott ever came to emulating Charles Dickens' comic genius, whose every manifestation she followed from childhood on. Describing her attempt to get a pass allowing her to travel from Boston to Washington, Alcott deftly foreshortens and compresses the minor disasters of dreadful weather, incompetent officials, and approaching homesickness into a tight comic vignette: Here I was, after a morning's tramp, down in some place about Dock Square, and was told to step to Temple Place.
Yet between 1865 and 1869, Alcott published stories pseudonymously in periodicals like Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (whose readers knew little and cared less about Concord sages). These tales, recently discovered and edited by Madeleine Stern, took the hidden drama of Sylvia, the wayward destructive femme fatale, and exploited it to the utmost. Given the public rejection of Moods, one wonders where Alcott found the courage to do this, even pseudonymously. Much later in Jo's Boys (1886), she created the fascinating character of the wild vagabond Dan, the "black sheep" of Plumfield, Jo March Bhaer's school for difficult boys.
In Louisa's moodiness and the tenacious loyalty that she increasingly used as the only means of controlling it, Abba sensed both a source of affection and an eventual wellspring of income for herself. Until after the Civil War, Abba did more to support the Alcott family than her husband. An amateur pioneer in social work and a tireless laborer at home, she everywhere saw, in her trenchant phrase, "woman under the yoke," and she early impressed upon Louisa that there would be "few to understand" her.
American Writers Supplement I, Parts 1 & 2 by Leonard Unger