Fri, 3 August 2018
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.
Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.
The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and find out how you can become a financial supporter for only $5/month. Thank you so much for all of our friends who have become supporters, sent us encouraging emails, and left stellar reviews. We’ll keep on plugging away, and
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.