Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father
Louisa May Alcott is known universally. Yet during Louisa's youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson--an eminent teacher and a friend of Emerson and Thoreau. He desired perfection, for the world and from his family. Louisa challenged him with her mercurial moods and yearnings for money and fame. The other prize she deeply coveted--her father's understanding--seemed hardest to win. This story of Bronson and Louisa's tense yet loving relationship adds dimensions to Louisa's life, her work, and the relationships of fathers and daughters.
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About the AuthorJohn Matteson was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden's Outcasts and is also the author of The Lives of Margaret Fuller, which received the Ann M. Sperber Prize for Best Biography of a Journalist. He has been a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the Leon Levy Center for Biography. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award of the John Jay College Alumni Association and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Achievement from the Columbia University School of Arts and Sciences. Distinguished Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he lives in the Bronx.
A double biography is a difficult thing to bring off but Matteson does it beautifully, giving a vivid but delicate account of two complicated characters inextricably entwined.--Rosemary Hill
A splendid new dual biography...Compassionate and compelling.--Daniel Dyer
Matteson's engrossing biography of the Alcotts achieves a rare fusion of intellectual precision and emotional empathy.--Madeleine B. Stern, author of Louisa May Alcott
Matteson's portrait of Bronson and Louisa is painted on a large canvas, capturing an era when ideals and practice collided as never before in the history of the American nation.--Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters
Matteson tells the odd, fascinating story of the über idealistic Bronson Alcott and the impact of his life decisions on his daughter, beloved children's book authoress Louisa May Alcott...Particularly for those unfamiliar with the Alcott story, this is a journey of much interest.--Christian Science Monitor