March 16, 2020
I had kept this post (posts) in my pending list but when Ilwoo posted his latest story about “Little Women” I decided it was time.
This post is made up partly of Jung Il woo images that I thought related to actors and writer’s characters. Also images of trips that I have taken to learn more about the writers or their lives. And because it is March, Woman’s Highlight Month here in the USA, I will focus on women writers. For this post I will write about Little Women and Pride and Prejudice.
I’ll start with Louisa Alcott May’s Little Women or Mujercitas (Spanish) as it is the one Ilwoo posted about. Growing up in a Low Middle Class family in Caracas Venezuela, meant that there were no libraries so my sister and I were bought about one leisure book a month and our school books. I treasured every book I owned and re-read them many times and Little Women was among my favorites. I entertained the idea of becoming a writer when I was around 8, so I always fantasized about being the spirited and creative soul Jo was. (Jo is one of the four March sisters in the book in case you have not read or seen a movie adaptation.)
Here is the image of Ilwoo that I think that looks like Laurie… from little women…
Laurie was one of the first male characters I fantasized about… he was the boy that became Jo’s best friend though he always loved her, and who she rejects when he proposes. Though I liked the new version of 2019, I find that my favorite is still the one from 1994. I don’t think anyone will aver play Jo as good as Winona Rider… and I liked that she had brown hair like the written character does. Christian Bale as Laurie was more playful and funny, so to me he is my favorite in that role too!
Here are the two latest Lauries or Teddys (that’s how Jo called him).
I never thought I’d end up living so close to the hometown of the writer of Little Women, but by fate I am in Boston, around 45 minutes and even less by car from Concord, Massachusetts where she lived.
Back in December they held a special “Little Women Week 2019” in anticipation of the movie that would premiere on Christmas Day, so I booked a tour and went! I learned so much about the novel and its writer. About Concord too.
These are my photos for the most part, photos were not allowed at The Orchard House (The Alcott’s residence) so I took those from various sites in the internet.
Her desk by the window was built by her father. Mr. Amos Alcott was:
“An American teacher, writer, philosopher, and reformer. As an educator, Alcott pioneered new ways of interacting with young students, focusing on a conversational style, and avoided traditional punishment. He hoped to perfect the human spirit and, to that end, advocated a vegan diet before the term was coined. He was also an abolitionist and an advocate for women’s rights.” Cr. Wikipedia
He encouraged all his daughters to keep diaries and built that desk you see by the window for Louisa, in a time when it was rare for a young lady to have a desk as they were not expected to have time to write.
These are some of the props Louisa and her sisters made. Her story is semi-biographical and she wrote her sisters just like her sisters in real life. And one of them dies just like in the book of scarlet fever, contracted from a sick child in a family they tried to help just like in the book. The only part that is very different was that Louisa never married, so Laurie is made up of two men she knew and admired. One had the playfulness and the other the looks.
This was Abigail May Alcott’s room, the youngest of the sisters. Unlike her sister wrote her in the book, in real life she became an accomplished artist. She was known in the Paris circle of painters. She was particularly good a copying Turner’s paintings so she had a lot of commissions doing this type of work when museums did not want to use the real Turners in abroad exhibits. Below you’ll see some of her work. It was all over the Alcott’s home, in the walls even…
Isn’t she good? And these are images of the rest of the house. One feels transported to the 1800’s in these rooms…
And these are some photos of the Town of Concord.
This was a really cute town bookstore that served our tour tea! I can’t imagine a more magical combination than a book and tea… well maybe if you added a Woo!
This is Louisa’s grave at Concord’s Sleepy Hollow Graveyard.
One thing I found out is that one of her teachers was Henry David Thoreau. She had a huge crush on him when she was young, but eventually they became good friends. More about Henry further down. Henry’s family was very close to the Alcott’s, to the point that they decided to spend eternity together by buying their plots in the cemetery next to each others. So Louisa’s grave is about two meters from Henry. I’d love to be that close in the afterlife to my crush!
This is the cemetery where they are buried. It was really beautifully laid out:
These are the graves of the Alcott sisters and I forgot who’s the fifth grave is from. Louisa was a nurse during the American Civil War and sadly contacted Typhoid Fever. Some experts believe that the mercury used to treat her sickness contributed to an early death, as she was never the same and suffered or a very weak immune system. She died at 55 years of age.
This is the plot of the Thoreau Family:
And this is Henry’s grave:
Henry was an American writer, a poet, a philosopher known for his love of nature and his free spirit. He decided to live in a cabin by a pond very close to Concord called Walden Pond and leave all possessions behind. There he would write one of his famous books “Walden” and his writing continues to inspire Americans to be free thinkers and to connect to nature. The following comes from Wikipedia:
Henry David Thoreau (see name pronunciation; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.
Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and Yankee attention to practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.
He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist. Though “Civil Disobedience” seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government—”I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” —the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: “‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”
I think he would have a lot issues with our current government! One of his quotes was read in the movie “The Dead Poets Society”:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
I have swan many times in Walden Pond. It is my favorite place to swim around Boston because unlike the beaches in New England which are usually freezing even in the summer, Walden is warm as it is a pond and not the ocean! There are small fish in it… love sitting in the shallow end and watch them go by. This what the pond looks like:
This is a replica of Henry’s cabin:
Well now let’s leave Louisa and Henry and move onto another great of great: Jane Austen. I feel I will do no justice to her in this post, as have not visited her hometown or the the places her characters were written except for London. So her part will seem small. But do not pay attention to the amount. She is my favorite female writer… and her books especially “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility” came later in my life, but have never left it sense. I have seen every version of these stories and my favorite is the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice. I never get tired of watching it.
So I will include Ilwoo in another bow outfit and then Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy. The best ever! If you have not seen this series, you have missed the best of the best of the best of the best in a love story!
Yeah… Colin definitely wins that one! The way that may looks… mercy!!! And if that doesn’t make your heart beat faster… here is the killer part: For a long time this was my favorite “boy looks at girl” part ever! … but… Ilwoo came and stole the show! Let me show you! So the scene that I am talking about starts at minute 5:07 of this video:
Yeah…But Ilwoo with this look beat Colin Firth for me:
When it happened I knew that I had really fallen for Ilwoo! Now you may ask why… why do I think it’s the best boy looks at girl ever… very simple… his sweetness! Ilwoo has such sweetness in the way he looks… it is strong but also kind, there is always so much love in his eyes. Like he is never judging… he is supportive. Some fans call it “smiling eyes”, to me they are “sweet loving” eyes! Here is the video:
And my screen captures:
And just like that I’m toast…! Ilwoo toast!!!