I finally got around to watching it last night and was highly entertained by the likes of Louisa and her family - parents Abigail and Bronson, and three sisters - with guest appearances by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
The film features a combination of Louisa (played by Elizabeth Marvel) reflecting on her life experiences through her writings, commentary by Alcott scholars, author Geraldine Brooks's nod to Ms. Alcott's influence on her own choice to become a writer, and shots of the Alcott homes and the scenery in and around Boston and Concord.
It was a fascinating look at a strong, vibrant and free-spirited woman who practically worked herself to death to keep her family in food and clothing. Her father, Bronson Alcott, was not a very good provider and Louisa was determined to make money through her writings.
In her lifetime, it was said, she earned over $100,000 from her books and stories which would make her a millionaire in today's economy. Many of her stories were published under pen names and scholars are still discovering them in dusty files. She also worked as a nurse in a Washington, D.C. hospital during the Civil War until she herself contracted one of the fevers - typhoid? scarlet? yellow? I don't remember which - but in any event it put an end to her war efforts.
I have three of her novels - Little Women, Eight Cousins, and Under the Lilacs - that belonged to my mother and that have wonderful illustrations and color plates which so add to their enjoyment.
But here is the coincidence. I don't know what made me decide to watch this DVD last night - it has been sitting on my desk for almost two weeks, but it turns out that yesterday, March 6, just happens to be the date in 1888 that Ms. Alcott died at the age of 55.
(Cue Twilight Zone music...)
Pretty weird, wouldn't you say?