Little Women Legacy: Love from Leeds with Rachel Roberts, Featured Author

This “Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes” author gave me some new reading ideas. And she reminded me of parallels between the Bronte sisters and the March sisters. This year they are celebrating the bicentennial of Emily’s birth!

In this blog post series, we’ll feature contributing authors from our new anthology, Alcott’s Imaginary Heroes: The Little Women Legacy. Today we’ll catch up with Rachel Roberts, who lives in West Yorkshire’s Brontë Country.


Contributor Rachel Roberts reads her childhood copy of Little Women (Volume 1, illustrated by Dinah Dryhurts) at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, England.

What is your favourite scene from Little Women?

Growing up, I was intrigued by Meg’s visit to “Vanity Fair” and her romance with John Brooke, which seemed really grown up and glamorous—Laurie and Jo’s reactions were, however, juvenile and relatable. I love “Under the Umbrella,” which is, like Jo, both romantic and unromantic. Professor Bhaer has returned to Jo’s life during a time of grief and “quarter life crisis,” but I like to think she is saving him in return, leading him away from his ivory tower and hard line on trashy fiction…

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5 thoughts on “Little Women Legacy: Love from Leeds with Rachel Roberts, Featured Author”

  1. I love when Professor Bhaer returns to Jo. It makes my heart swell with love every time I read it. I am a romantic at heart it would seem and this particular moment compels me. There are just too many scenes in that book that I love to name them all, but that probably is the one (outside of Beth dying) that makes me an emotional mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I like the scene with Friedrich also. It made me feel better that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together. Louisa gave Jo a husband who is her intellectual equal and who ultimately helps her grow and mature as a writer even if he’s a little awkward about it.


  2. I remember being distraught when Jo is informed by Professor Bhaer that her fiction is not what he thinks she should write about. It isn’t real. I loved the swash-buckling adventures. And, even growing up and loving the book “Little Women” which is self-referential in its creation, doesn’t mean I don’t mourn reading “The Mysteries of Adolfo” or whatever the name of her play’s character was. (I’ll admit, it has been decades since I read Little Women.) I really wanted Jo to succeed at the writing she wanted to do. But, then, would Little Women exist if I had gotten my way? I think not. So, I shall have to be content with the path the led me to Jo March, however much I may long for the path not taken.

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      1. There are entire fields of study devoted to dispelling the myths surrounding women writers. What a shame they aren’t compulsory.

        I find that, if we write to please ourselves, that is the truest path to happiness, regardless of the value anyone else assigns it.

        So, write on, sister!

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