Two Passions strong divide our Life
Meek gentle Love, or boisterous with strife.
Bronson believed that children were fresh from heaven and, as a result, came into the world completely untainted, before the influence of the world took away their inherent angelic nature. Determined to test his theory, he meticulously recorded the development of his own children, starting with his oldest, Anna. His record of baby Louisa, who he called "fit for the scuffle of things," reached nearly 300 pages in her first year.
Bronson also applied his theories as a teacher. As his experimental methods proved controversial, the Alcott family was forced to move frequently. Eventually, Bronson withdrew from the world to start his own society at Fruitlands, along with young Louisa and the rest of the Alcotts. The experimental Utopia failed within seven months and Bronson was heavily in debt (again).
In fact, the Alcott family was never financially secure until Louisa started writing. Despite this, Louisa grew to admire her father's idealism and considered turning Bronson's life into a novel (never realized), focusing on his "trials and triumphs." Bronson, in turn, was one of Louisa's greatest supporters from her earliest writings on. Despite being 33 years younger, Louisa died within days of her father's death in 1888. She was 55.
*The information from this post is mainly from the Pulitzer Prize-winning dual biography Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (2008) by John Matteson. I also recommend Harriet Reisen's Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women (2009).