The Classic Tales Podcast
Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the Gothic castles of Eastern Europe, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.

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Syndication

Louisa May Alcott is back with “blood and thunder”. She gives us a tale of a boy with mysterious secrets and suspect agendas - today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

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When Louisa May was 19, she took a job as a companion to a young woman, sister of James Richardson, a lawyer in Dedham, Massachusetts. The old gentleman described the job as requiring some light housework, but that she should be regarded as one of the family. The reality was that the light housework was rather heavy, the sister was rarely seen, and Mr. Richardson attempted to woo with poetry an unimpressed young Louisa. When Louisa protested and delivered an ultimatum, the situation worsened. After seven weeks of drudgery, she left. She was paid four dollars, which the outraged Alcotts returned. Louisa May later wrote about the incident in “How I Went Out to Service”. Doubtless this event fuelled much of the anger and frustration that burns bright in many of Louisa’s “blood and thunder” tales. The first of which, entitled “Pauline’s Passion and Punishment”, won a contest that paid her one hundred dollars for its publication. Her “blood and thunder” tales sold for fifty to seventy-five dollars each. They were published under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard.

I can just see Jo from Little Women reading this story aloud to her sisters, maybe before she got the message to “write what you know”. If you liked the first of Alcott’s “blood and thunder” tales that we did back in January, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened shouldn’t disappoint.

And now, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, part 1of2, by Louisa May Alcott.

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Direct download: CT_586_MysteriousKey_1of2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:30am MDT