When I was a girl in the 1980s, my parents took me to visit Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Mass. This trip inspired me as a young writer. Through her autobiographical novel “Little Women,” Alcott showed what it was like to be a professional author with her “genius cap” on, scribbling away in a loud and bustling home.
I also felt an affinity for her because I’m part of a family configuration rarely seen except in our household, the pages of “Little Women” and the Alcott home: four sisters and no brothers (I’m the youngest, “Amy”).
At Orchard House, built circa 1650, it is estimated that 80 percent of the furnishings were owned by the Alcotts. There, Alcott wrote “Little Women” at a desk her father, noted abolitionist and transcendentalist Amos Bronson Alcott, built for her. “The rooms she’s describing in the book are actually the rooms in Orchard House,” says the home’s executive director, Jan Turnquist. “A lot of people tell me they feel like they’re walking through the book.”
Read Six female writers’ homes you can tour, including the one where Alcott penned ‘Little Women’ in the Travel section of The Washington Post. Scroll to find a local great, The Mount Edith Wharton’s Home