When A Modern Mephistopheles (1877) was first published by Roberts Brothers for the "No Name Series," readers were stumped as to the identity of the author. No one suspected that the person who penned this intriguing tale of good and evil, based on Goethe’s Faust, could possibly be Louisa May Alcott, who was best known for her children’s books, including, of course, the classic Little Women.
Few of Alcott’s devoted readers knew the scope of her interest in the raging forces within a human soul that could bring someone to the brink of insanity or harbor the will to cause chaos and destruction. She not only explored the dichotomy of good and evil in human nature through her “blood-and-thunder” tales — many written under a pseudonym — but touched upon that topic in aspects of her children’s literature as well.
What motivated Alcott’s examination of the dark side of humanity, and how did her interest in good and evil play out in her own life?
Growing up in a reform-minded family, Alcott learned early on that mastering the forces of evil within her own mind and soul and replacing those impulses with the innate goodness that her parents convinced her could be found and nurtured would prove to be a lifelong task for a headstrong young woman finding her way in a world that was not always kind or encouraging.
Daily Schedule of Presentations
Kristi Lynn Martin
Mark Hamilton Ostrander
Affiliations and images of Presenters appear here; for brief biographies, click here
Sunday Opening Session + All Weekdays Sessions
2:30 - 4:00 pmHeld in conjunction with The Thoreau Society Annual Gathering and featuring a Panel Discussion with Special Guests John Matteson & Sandra Petrulionis
10:00 am - 2:00 pmPresenters: Lauren Hehmeyer, Lisa Elwood-Farber, Kristi Lynn Martin
10:00 am - 2:00 pmPresenters: Kristina West, Mark Hamilton Ostrander, Clare Comm
10:00 am - 2:00 pmPresenters: Anne-Laure François, Cathlin Davis, Linda Morfee (virtual presentation)
10:00 am - 12:15 pmPresenter: Gabrielle DonnellySpecial Guest: John Matteson
This page is secured with 256-bit encryption