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November 29

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Louisa May Alcott


QUOTES by Louisa May Alcott.

"I wonder if I shall ever be famous enough for people to care to read my story and struggles."

      Born Nov. 29, 1832, Louisa May Alcott, writer whose main fame today is for her book Little Women, although she wrote more than 270 works. Raised in abject poverty because her father was a philosopher not a worker, she turned to writing rather than nursing or needlecraft because it paid more. Her mother also worked. Although the Little Women type books made her financially independent, she preferred writing graphic detective stories and books with more realistic themes.
      Louisa May Alcott is indeed famous, but her life and her struggles have been fictionalized to the point the real woman is hardly recognizable. Even so-called feminists in Hollywood twisted her life into a vapid dreamer rather than expose the iron and fiery talent of this woman of steel.
      Struggling to make money, Alcott did a series of menial jobs, sewing, housework for others, and even nursing at the Union hospital in Georgetown, the inspiration for her book Hospital Sketches for which she received $2,000 which enabled her to make her first trip to Europe.
      While Louisa May was growing up, her family was near starvation many times and friends and neighbors took them food and clothing.
      In 1848 her mother Abba Alcott at age 49 was hired by a group of philanthropic Boston women to be their city missionary to distribute food and clothing to the poor and needy (her family included). Her salary provided almost the only income for her four children and her philosopher husband Branson, who did a lot of thinking and talking that has gotten him into a lot of "noted men" history books, but did no work to feed himself or his family. Branson once wrote in his voluminous correspondence, "What with my wife's and (daughter) Anna's earnings, my own tithe and charities from a few friends, we survive as a family, and fall but little into debt."

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B. 11-29-1752, Jemima Wilkinson, after an illness she became Publick Universal Friend and advocated her own doctrine through stirring sermons and her book The Universal Friend's Advice to Those of the Same Religious Society (1784). Two Universal Friend's communities were formed, but the sect did not last after her death.

B. 11-29-1788, Abigail Goodrich Whittelsey edited several popular magazines, which printed practical advice and instructions on motherhood with huge doses of religious constraints.

B. 11-29-1872, Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, eminent Austrian Wagnerian soprano at Bayrueth (1897), member of the Vienna Imperial opera.

B. 11-29-1876, Nellie Tayloe Ross, elected governor of Wyoming to fill out the unexpired term of her husband, served as director of the U.S. Mint from 1933-1953.

B. 11-29-1888, Toni Sender, union consultant to U.N. and instrumental in the U.S. investigating and opposing slave labor camps.

B. 11-29,-1919, Pearl Primus, dancer. Although born in Trinidad, her family emigrated to U.S. when she was very young. She went through the Hunter School system and gained her masters in Biology. However, she found that as a black woman, she could get no laboratory work.
      PP did a number of odd jobs while studying to become a doctor and during a nightclub stint found out she was a highly talented dancer and turned professional in 1943.

B. 11-29-1947, Petra Karim Kelly helped found West German's Green Party, the environmental protection advocates.

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      "Housekeeping ain't no joke."

      "Let us hear no more of 'woman's sphere' from the State House or pulpit - no more twaddle about sturdy oaks and clinging vines. Let woman find out her own limitations, but in heaven's name, give her a chance! Let the professions be opened to her. Let fifty years of college education be hers. And then we shall see what she can do!"

      "Dear Mother,
      "Into your Christmas stocking, I put my 'first born' knowing that you will accept it with all its faults (for Grandmothers are always kind) and look upon it merely as an earnest of what I may yet do; for with so much to cheer me on, I hope to pass in time from fairies and fable to men and realities."
            -- Louisa May Alcott to her mother on the publication of her first book for which she received $32 which she gave her mother.

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