|Me with Thoreau statue (left); the Alcott's Orchard|
House (above right); Emerson's home (lower right)
|Inside the recreation of|
Thus I was unspeakably excited about traveling to Concord, Massachusetts to walk in Thoreau's footsteps. Emerson, Alcott, and Hawthorne aren't to be sneezed at either, and all of them lived in this beautiful little town. (Hawthorne also lived in Salem, and I visited the house he grew up in, as well.)
|the Old Manse as viewed from the river|
|Emerson's study at the|
I had wanted to see inside Orchard House, one Louisa May Alcott's homes and where Little Women basically took place (I was reading it at the time), but the entry fee was a bit much after having just paid at the museum, so we decided not to go in and move on to the grandpappy of all literary sites in the area (for me, at least): Walden Pond.
Most of our Transcendentalist friends are buried right around each other at a place now called Authors Ridge, which is easy to find as there are signs pointing the way. There is a large stone for the Thoreau family and only a little marker with "Henry" for my hero. Very appropriate, I thought. He stayed simple into death. People had left twigs, bits of branches, and stones. Hawthorne's grave says equally simply "Hawthorne." Emerson's is quite unique and has an epitaph that he wrote himself. The Alcott family's graves are arranged much the same as the Thoreau's. At Louisa May's, someone had spelled out "Little Women" in stones on the grass. There had also been left offerings of pencils. I wish I had thought of that!
|Authors Ridge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA|
Interesting bit I learned about Louisa May Alcott recently: she wondered if she had been a man put into a woman's body. She admitted that she had never loved a man romantically, though she had loved a great many beautiful young women. I think I need to read more about this lady. I love her character Jo for straddling the gender divide and finding love despite this (very unlike the female character Stephen in Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness, which has an ending just as depressing as the title implies). I wish I had been able to finish Little Women before this trip.
I would love to return to Concord in warmer months, but alas, I don't have the foggiest notion of when such a trip could occur. Maybe, when I can afford it, I can find an inexpensive abode and rent it for a writing retreat. Concord is really such a sweet little town. I fell in love with it, too! I bet it's so pretty in the Fall. Sigh...