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Book Cover
Author Francis, Richard, 1945- author.

Title Fruitlands : the Alcott family and their search for utopia / by Richard Francis
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, [2010]


Description 1 online resource (viii, 321 pages) : illustrations
Contents Part 1. The seed -- part 2. The fruit
Summary This is a definitive account of Fruitlands, one of history's most unsuccessful, but most significant, utopian experiments. It was established in Massachusetts in 1843 by Bronson Alcott (whose ten year old daughter Louisa May, future author of Little Women, was among the members) and an Englishman called Charles Lane, under the watchful gaze of Emerson, Thoreau, and other New England intellectuals. Alcott and Lane developed their own version of the doctrine known as Transcendentalism, hoping to transform society and redeem the environment through a strict regime of veganism and celibacy. But physical suffering and emotional conflict, particularly between Lane and Alcott's wife, Abigail, made the community unsustainable. Drawing on the letters and diaries of those involved, the author explores the relationship between the complex philosophical beliefs held by Alcott, Lane, and their fellow idealists and their day to day lives. The result is a vivid and often very funny narrative of their travails, demonstrating the dilemmas and conflicts inherent to any utopian experiment and shedding light on a fascinating period of American history
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes English
Subject Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888 -- Family
Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888
Utopias -- Massachusetts -- Harvard -- History -- 19th century
Communal living -- Massachusetts -- Harvard -- History -- 19th century
Transcendentalism (New England)
HISTORY -- United States -- 19th Century.
Communal living
Transcendentalism (New England)
Fruitlands (Harvard, Mass.) -- History
Massachusetts -- Harvard
Massachusetts -- Harvard -- Fruitlands
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2010019705
ISBN 9780300169447