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April 27, 2015

THE REVELATION OF LOUISA MAY blog tour --- guest post by Michaela MacColl

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Louisa May Alcott may be best known for her timeless novel LITTLE WOMEN, but there was a lot more to her than that --- she was actually a vociferous suffragist far before the movement reached a national level.

As part of her blog tour for THE REVOLUTION OF LOUISA MAY --- a fictional novel about Louisa helping to hide a runaway slave that is peppered with actual facts about her adolescence --- author Michaela MacColl reveals some of Louisa’s more political, feminist leanings.

Read below, and be sure to check out the future stops on Michaela’s tour (full schedule at the bottom of the post)!


Thank you Teenreads for kicking off the blog tour for THE REVELATION OF LOUISA MAY!  As I sat down to write this blog post, all of the news was about Hillary Clinton (finally!) declaring her candidacy. I couldn’t help but think about what Louisa May Alcott would think.  Best known for LITTLE WOMEN, she also was an abolitionist and a suffragist. While Louisa was not a big fan of husbands --- she said “I’d rather be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe” --- she was a huge fan of women’s suffrage. So I’d assume she’d be very gratified to have a viable female candidate for President of the United States.

Louisa’s mother had been working for suffrage since the 1850s. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Louisa was proud to be the first woman registered to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.  In 1879, that very progressive town decided to let women vote on matters pertaining to children and education. Louisa organized reading groups and petitions on the importance of voting to encourage her neighbors to vote. They complained they already had their plates full with running households. Deeply frustrated, she wrote, “Trying to stir up the women about Suffrage. So timid & slow…drove about & drummed up women to my Suffrage meeting. So hard to move people out of the old ruts.” In her blunt way, she “gave them a good scolding & offered to drive the timid sheep to the fatal spot where they seem to expect some awful doom.”

Despite her best efforts, the rate of female turnout was never high. The first election in 1880 drew 20 people.  In 1883 that number had significantly fallen. She wrote “seven women vote. I am one of them & Anna [her sister] another. A poor show for a town that prides itself on its culture and independence.” Louisa died in 1888, well before women got the right to vote nationwide in 1920, but she had the satisfaction of casting a ballot in every town election she possibly could.

It’s ironic that Louisa is best known for LITTLE WOMEN, a story of feminine domesticity, when she was also a tireless advocate for freedom and independence. But for her, writing LITTLE WOMEN was a means to an end. And that end was financial independence, the first step to true suffrage. At the end of her life, she wrote, "I should be a traitor to all I most love, honor and desire to imitate if I did not covet a place among those who are giving their lives to the emancipation of the white slaves of America."

So go ahead and admire LITTLE WOMEN if you like (I do), but if you want to honor Louisa, make sure you vote.

Please visit me at www.michaelamaccoll.com or AuthorMichaelaMaColl on Facebook or follow me at @michaelamaccoll.

 


Michaela attended Vassar College and Yale University earning degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. She has written about a teenaged Queen Victoria (PRISONERS IN THE PALACE, Chronicle 2010) and Beryl Markham’s childhood (PROMISE THE NIGHT, Chronicle 2011). She is writing a literary mystery series for teens featuring so far a young Emily Dickinson in NOBODY'S SECRET (2013) and the Bronte sisters in ALWAYS EMILY (2014).  She has recently begun a new series with Boyd’s Mill/Highlights called Hidden Histories about odd events in America’s past. The first entry in the series is RORY'S PROMISE and was published in September 2014. She frequently visits high schools and has taught at the Graduate Institute in Bethel, CT.   She lives in Westport CT with her husband, two teenaged daughters and three extremely large cats.


See the rest of the tour dates, here!

Day

Post Date

Blog

URL

Tuesday

4/28/2015

Teenreads

http://www.teenreads.com/blog

Wednesday

4/29/2015

A Dream Within A Dream

http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com

Thursday

4/30/2015

The Children's Book Review

ww.thechildrensbookreview.com

Friday

5/1/2015

Book Nerd Canada

http://booknerd.ca

Saturday

5/2/2015

Booking Mama

http://www.bookingmama.net

Sunday

5/3/2015

Chapter by Chapter

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com

Monday

5/4/2015

Mother Daughter Book Club

http://motherdaughterbookclub.com

Tuesday

5/5/2015

Forever Young Adult

http://www.foreveryoungadult.com