Read My Heart is Boundless : Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa's Mother by Eve LaPlante Abigail May Alcott Online


Edited by award-winning biographer Eve LaPlante, a collection of the letters and diaries of Louisa May Alcott’s mother, Abigail—a forward-thinking feminist whose advice and example profoundly shaped her famous daughter In this riveting compilation of Abigail May Alcott’s previously undiscovered and unexplored private writings, biographer Eve LaPlante annotates the letters,Edited by award-winning biographer Eve LaPlante, a collection of the letters and diaries of Louisa May Alcott’s mother, Abigail—a forward-thinking feminist whose advice and example profoundly shaped her famous daughter In this riveting compilation of Abigail May Alcott’s previously undiscovered and unexplored private writings, biographer Eve LaPlante annotates the letters, poems, recipes, and diaries of the real-life inspiration behind “Marmee” of Little Women, one of the most famous mother figures in American literature.      This companion volume to LaPlante’s groundbreaking Marmee & Louisa covers everything from writing (Abigail’s own ambitions as well as her daughter’s) to family life and the expectations of society. Full of wit and charm, Abigail’s private letters offer a moving, intimate portrait of a woman intellectually ahead of her time who found herself trapped in an unrewarding marriage and who would transfer her wisdom and ambition to her talented daughters, Louisa most of all.     In beautiful prose (a biographer once pointed out that “In some ways, Abby was a better writer than her more famous daughter”), this fantastic new collection lays bare the unparalleled love that Abigail held for her family, in the process restoring a powerful female voice too long lost to history....

Title : My Heart is Boundless : Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa's Mother
Author :
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ISBN : 9781476702803
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Heart is Boundless : Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa's Mother Reviews

  • Heather
    2019-03-25 00:14

    It was an interesting read. At times I found it slow reading, but enjoyed learning more of the Alcotts. She really had a difficult life at times, but most of the time had a positive outlook on life. She really had and interesting & varied life.

  • Tracey
    2019-03-27 22:33

    Abigail May Alcott, the model for Marmee of Little Women, was obviously an intelligent woman who was an example and mentor to Louisa. I wish she herself had written a work of fiction.

  • Lydia Presley
    2019-03-31 22:17

    What a way to start out 2013 - wrapping up my reading of these lovely bits of notes, letters, and historical tidbits by and about Abigail May Alcott. My Heart is Boundless is a nice, tidy, organized book that chronologically (mostly) follows Abigail's life through her own writing and reflection. I've been a fan of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women since I was a young girl. I was the oldest of four girls (for a time, before three brothers and two more sisters came along) and related well to Meg - the oldest of Louisa's quartet. I admired her quiet dignity, her willingness to accept what happened, and understood how she managed being surrounded by the sisters she was surrounded by. So it was a bit of a delight for me to learn that Louisa's mother, Abigail, also had quite a few sisters and brothers and I hungrily dug in to her writings.I identified strongly with Louisa's desire for knowledge and information - but not only that, her desire to keep her family close. There was quite a bit of tragedy that struck the May family and Abigail appeared to be the bedrock through it all. These writings are a perfect example of how a woman of her time need not be shut away, but rather could find happiness and fulfillment in ways other than motherhood.My only issue with this collection is how choppy it can be. It's mostly chronological, but I needed to finish it and would have rather spent time reading portions and then moving on to other books. It does not make for a comfortable, "unputdownable" book - but rather is perhaps intended to be a book to be read in short bites. The other small issue I had was with the numerous footnotes - every name seemed to be identified by the author every single time it cropped up (which was nice at first, but after a while I began to feel like I was being treated like I was stupid for "not getting it" when I was). Still, easily enough avoided if you are someone who can resist the temptation of those footnotes.I recommend this for fans of Louisa May Alcott. I think you will find much of Marmee hiding in this book, waiting to be awakened.

  • Carol
    2019-04-11 00:19

    This book is a must-read for adults who, as children, loved the "Little Women" books. These letters and journal entries of the woman who appears, thinly disguised as "Marmee," the mother, in "Little Women," reveal a spirited, intelligent, and remarkable woman. The great-niece who edited this book had a difficult task; large sections of the letters and diaries had been removed, evidently to hide material that was considered too personal or that revealed details of the Alcotts' troubled marriage.Married to Bronson Alcott, in some ways ahead of his time but impractical and improvident, Abigail, with her four daughters, several orphaned nieces and nephews, and a succession of boarders, endured the humiliation of borrowing from friends and relatives and life in dozens of boardinghouses and rental properties before finally, with the help of family members, settling in Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts. After the publication of "Little Women" by daughter Louisa May (May was a family name) the family was finally free from financial worries. Like most women of her time, Abigail had little formal education and was barred by social custom from most forms of gainful employment. In our time, it is easy to forget how hard life was in the time of Abigail Alcott. Death was around every corner, most people had little money, and women's work was never done. However, beneath the preoccupation with domestic cares and the often flowery, sentimental prose of the time one can glimpse a gifted writer, who knew Emerson and Thoreau, and who was drawn to forward-thinking causes such as abolition of slavery and votes for women. Abigail wished Louisa to have the opportunities that she herself had been denied, and became her daughter's fondest well-wisher. Without Abigail there would have been no "Little Women," and the world would have been poorer.

  • QNPoohBear
    2019-04-04 01:36

    This collection of journal entries, letters and recollections from previously undiscovered and unpublished collections reveals the true character of the real life Marmee. Abigail was a headstrong, intelligent, warmhearted woman who had lofty ideals and big dreams but suffered terribly through her husband's inability to support her family. She seems to be the prototype for Jo March. She was a loving mother and devoted sister and wife. Her letters are poignant and beautifully written. Abigail had radical ideas even for today. She was passionate and dedicated to her causes and her personal educational philosophies. Her devotion to Bronson was a bit irritating. She believed in him and his "genius" and was sympathetic to his unwillingness to work at a position that went against his philosophies. She realized too late that he wouldn't support their family and did all she could to work for money. Yet, she was torn between working outside the home and staying with her children, which is something I think many modern mothers can relate to. This collection is short but captures the essence of Abigail's life. I really appreciate the research that went into this collection. I wish there were facsimiles of the original letters though. This book is well worth a read for mothers, Louisa May Alcott fans, those interested in Transcendentalism and women's rights. I loved getting to know the woman who raised one of my favorite authors. It's easy to see how much Louisa loved and admired her mother and this collection will show you why.

  • Jamie
    2019-04-07 22:30

    This collection of letters, journal entries, and various other trivial and quotidian writings from the mother of one of the best-loved writers in the history of our country opens up an intimate view of family, talent, fight, and the hidden workings behind success. In even this simplest and most humble form of communication, Abigail shows moments of pure poetry and deep insight, a fact which sheds light on the beauty in her daughter's writing (which she encouraged from an early age). But it also shows a depth of feeling and philosophy which was truly rare among the women of her generation. Rubbing elbows with the country's literary and social greats, she was constantly learning, thinking, and trying to create change, up until the very day she died. And her intriguing writings prove her journey and her metal. She fought for her family with every bit of strength she had, striving to give them a chance at a better future. We should all be so lucky, and indeed we all are, because Little Women would not exist without her grit and her love of word and thought.This book was won from the publisher through the Goodreads First Reads program. Thanks!

  • Kristi
    2019-03-25 18:16

    It is wonderful to read Abigail May Alcott's own words from the comfort of my own home, rather than in an archive. Many readers know Abigail for her fictional alter-ego "Marmee" in her daughter's classic novel "Little Women." The real-life Marmee was a strong, intelligent, loving, and dynamically resourceful woman, who raised four exceptional daughters despite the trials of poverty and hardships with her eccentric philosophical husband. In her private writings, we see a glimpse into her thoughts and emotions, as well as charming portraits of the famous family. While I disagree with LaPlante's assertion that Abigail Alcott was a mystery to scholars, and her extant papers virtually unknown, Laplante has done a great service to scholarship by bring renewed and focused attention to Abigail May Alcott, a great life and mind ahead of her time, who influence the lives and minds of her more famous relative and friends. This selection of primary source documents is arranged chronologically, divided into life stages, and accompanied by brief contextual history.

  • Amy
    2019-04-07 19:10

    *Won as a First Reads on Goodreads Giveaways*I'm not sure how to give a fair evaluation to the book. It is a collection of Abigail May Alcott's writings. As far as the editing, it is well put together. As far as content, it's a fascinating look into the life of a woman who didn't "fit the mold" of cultural expectations. However, I just wasn't drawn in by Abigail's writing style. Somehow, the book just wasn't quite what I expected. I found myself skimming through it. That's an evaluation (or opinion) of Alcott's writing though, not LaPlante's.

  • Amanda Cook
    2019-03-30 01:16

    Abigail Alcott was probably just as great a writer as her daughter when it came down to her daily diary entries and letters. She had a wit about her as well as a solemnity. She struggled for most of her life to keep her family together, all the while decrying the inequities of society, especially for the poor, slaves, and women. She was a modern woman stuck in a wholly unmodern time, and she passed her values along to her daughters, helping one of them to forge a career as one of the most successful authors of her age.

  • Celestia
    2019-03-19 21:34

    Abigail was a pioneer. She was one of the first female abolitionists and women's voting rights advocates in the U.S. She was also an awesome mother mentor. Many people thought most if not all of her writings had been destroyed. This book is a compilation of many of her long lost letters and journal entries. A treasure! She was a thinker and well ahead of her time as a maternal feminist, the best kind!

  • Tess
    2019-03-27 00:12

    Really and truly amazing insight into a woman who did the best she could with the limited resources she had. Reading this made me want to punch Bronson Alcott in the face, but Abba May was a strong and intelligent woman light-years ahead of her time who clearly passed on her tenacity to her famous novelist daughter. Well worth it for Alcott fans.

  • Naomi
    2019-03-28 19:37

    I thoroughly enjoyed this terrific collection, with extremely helpful notes on relationships and context. I met Abigail May Alcott in new ways and the community of reformers and utopians to which she belonged.

  • Susan
    2019-03-31 02:22

    If you enjoy reading letters from the past, this is great. Louisa May Alcotts mother was an amazing, strong woman ahead of her time. Combine it with the book Marmee and Louisa, and (if you're a woman) you will want to strangle Bronson Alcott!

  • Mary Kovarik
    2019-04-06 21:17

    This book gives a look into the life of Louisa May Alcott's mother. She is shown to have been a very strong woman who had to put up with a great deal of misery from her unfortunate husband.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-30 00:18

    Amazing that these writings were just discovered.

  • Jean
    2019-04-13 23:27

    May finish this some time. It was interesting to learn about Abigail. Couldn't stay focused.

  • Gineke
    2019-03-28 00:20

    I loved it. The life and writings of Abigail give context to and insight in the life of her famous daughter.