Thursday, November 18, 2010

Did Alcott Read Austen?

I'm genuinely curious.

As I wrote up my post about Jo sitting lovingly beside Beth's bed, and as I pondered the emotional power of sister kinship in that scene, I kept getting flashes of another sister-at-the-bedside scene: Elinor watching over Marianne Dashwood.

And then I started thinking about the sister threads that run through Austen in general, and how those sister relationships often carry even deeper emotional resonance than the romantic relationships.

And then it occurred to me that family theatricals take place in both Alcott and Austen.

Both of them also enjoy using letters to advance plot and reveal character.

All of these, of course, could be coincidental similarities, or might be owing to other shared influences. there any evidence anywhere, I wonder, that points to Alcott reading Austen?


Erin said...

Good question! Hmm, I wonder...

Beth said...

Yah, and I can't find anything anywhere to indicate that she did or didn't! Admittedly all I've done is a couple of quick online searches. The main thing Alcott and Austen seem to have in common (at least on google) is the fact that they've both had their works "zombified." Sigh.

Erin said...

LOL! I bet they'd be just thrilled... :-P

Beth said...

Well, Louisa at least might give a chuckle, given all the "thrillers" she wrote in her lifetime. Although I can't imagine she'd really like it. What a strange age we live in!