Louisa May Alcott
Before Little Women made her famous, Alcott wrote a volume of Fairy Stories...her first published book, which afforded her the ability to lift her family out of poverty.
Bronson Alcott, Louisa's father, was an idealist with grand transcendental notions about philosophy, utopian society, education and self improvement. Pursuing wealth was not one of his priorities, and the family often scraped by on meager provisions.
One thing they were rich in, though, was the company of brilliant thinkers and writers.
Can you imagine growing up in Concord, MA with neighbors and friends like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Lydia Maria Childs? What stories they must have told!
We read Louisa May and Mr. Thoreau's Flute, by Julie Dunlap.
Certainly Louisa and her friends were kept busy with an amount chores and school work that the average Big Room kid would find oppressive. But this story of the young Thoreau leading Concord's children in a discovery of nature and purpose, through quiet deliberate observation, is really inspiring.
We also read one of Louisa's Flower Fables, which you can find here
We made our own flower fairies with pipecleaners and fabric flower petals...
but I must insist...finding real flowers in nature or a garden and imagining them as fairies is far more satisfying. I hope we can all spend time this summer looking for fairy acorn dishes, and moss carpets, and pebble furniture.