“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day.”…. Louisa May Alcott (but I echo her sentiments)
So Google has let me know in it’s own inimitable way, that today is Louisa May Alcott’s 184th birthday. Some of you may say, big deal! You obviously aren’t fans of the iconic “Little Women”. Because I don’t believe anyone can have read the book and not be as enamoured of it as I am. Maybe I’m absolutely delusional and I’m completely on my own, but I doubt it.
I lost myself in the story of Little Women when I was very young. I loved the characters regardless of their foibles and flaws. They were all such beautiful people and the love spilled off the pages and into my heart. Of course Jo was my favourite (although I sobbed and sobbed over Beth). But Jo and I had so much in common. From her love of her little plays to the passion she put into all her stories, I felt like I wanted to step back in time to meet her as I knew we’d be friends. Okay, I was only about 8 at the time, but we still would have been friends. I feel it now at 55. Nothing has changed.
So you have no idea of my excitement when I opened a Google browser today and saw a picture that I knew immediately was based on my beloved book. So of course I had to click on it to see why she had been immortalised by a Google header and found out it was her birthday. They tell me the following! “Best known for her writing, Alcott’s achievements stretched far beyond her novels and short stories and astonish she did. Alcott was a tireless suffragist, feminist and abolitionist. She served as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War and her home was a station on the Underground Railroad. As a lifelong advocate for feminism and women’s suffrage, she also became the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.”
I read the quote above about wanting to be remembered for something and I knew I was right in my adulation of her all these years. I feel exactly the same. This blog has helped that to some degree but I want to do more. I want to leave a legacy that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will benefit from.
We all want to leave something of ourselves surely? Those of us with children will have some part of ourselves left behind in them. I hope that one day, in the extremely distant future, my offspring’s offspring will read my ramblings or view the images I have created and understand a little bit more about me than the stories passed on from someone else’s perspective. I hope they understand who I really am, warts and all.
So a very happy birthday and a massive thank you to Louisa May Alcott.. Creating Marmee, Aunt March, Meg, Beth, Amy and of course, the magnificent Jo, you enhanced my childhood and you left a legacy that will never be forgotten. You astonish me every time I read the book or watch one of the many versions of the movie, so I guess you did what you set out to do. Now it’s my turn.
Happy birthday Ms Alcott… Livvy xx