I’ve always been drawn to the mystery of the genius cluster that thrived in Concord, MA in the 19th century, briefly considering it as a topic for a dissertation while I was still flirting with grad school at Georgia State. I had a great class on American literature there– exploring Hawthorne, Thoreau, Emerson, and the rest. Was it something in the air, in the water, that drove such beautiful writing out of that area?
This book seems promising, until you’re 100 pages in and Cheever starts inserting her own thoughts and memories of Concord into the mix. It was refreshing to re-learn that the greats of American literature all lived in a small Massachusetts town together, Emerson funding the poverty of Thoreau, Alcott & others. Louisa May had a crush on both Thoreau & Emerson, Thoreau loved Emerson’s wife, Emerson & Hawthorne both lusted after Margaret Fuller.
Pretty flimsy stuff, this book. Good to whet the appetite and not much more. I am now inspired to re-read Little Women.
sub=Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work