2017 READING CHALLENGE
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In addition to her many books, Louisa May Alcott left behind the legacy of her letters and journals. Writing was her compulsive trait, a habit as much as an outlet. Louisa's conversations with herself and with others in her world poured out in a steady stream of words, chronicling nearly fifty years of her life.
As early as 1850, when she was seventeen, Louisa valued the introspection and wisdom she gained from her periodic journals. "Must always try to think of the willful, moody girl I try to manage," she wrote of herself. "In my journal I write of her to see how she gets on. If I look into the glass, I try to keep down vanity about my long hair, my well-shaped head, and my good nose. My quick tongue is always getting me into trouble, and my moodiness makes it hard to be cheerful, when I think...how much worry it is to live and how many things I long to do....
"I can't talk to anyone but Mother about my troubles," Louisa wrote of her youthful internal struggles. The bond between Louisa and her mother, Abba May Alcott, was a strong one. Equally important was the influence of her philosopher father, Amos Bronson Alcott. He delighted in her journal writing and offered his own solutions to the dilemmas she sometimes discussed on paper.
Together, Abba and Bronson created an extraordinary atmosphere in which to nurture their daughter.
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