Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia” as Want to Read:
Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  8 reviews

This is the first definitive account of Fruitlands, one of history’s most unsuccessful—but most significant—utopian experiments. It was established in Massachusetts in 1843 by Bronson Alcott (whose ten-year-old daughter Louisa May, future author of Little Women, was among the members) and an Englishman called Charles Lane, under the watchful gaze of Emerson, Thoreau, and o

Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Yale University Press (first published November 2nd 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fruitlands, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fruitlands

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 114)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I should state at the outset that I am no admirer of Bronson Alcott - a narcissistically inflated self if such a one ever existed. I would recommend to the editors of the next edition of the DSM that they insert his photo into whatever section describes personality disorders of this kind. And as far as I can tell, Alcott amounted to little more than a sidekick/sideshow of transcendentalism - that featured Alcott as his very own barker.

Francis' book presents no information or insight that would m
Covers the period in the 1840s when Bronson Alcott and his friend Charles Lane enacted their plan to establish a Utopian community on a farm in Massachusetts. I’ve read a few biographies of Louisa May Alcott so I had basic knowledge about Fruitlands’ place in her unconventional childhood. I hoped the focus of this book would be the perspective of Abba May Alcott and her daughters. However, that wasn’t realistic given that the two men were the dominant figures in the short existence of the ill-fa ...more
This is a pretty cozy book. It's a history of the Fruitlands, a utopian community that tried to establish itself in Harvard, Massachusetts in the 1840s. It was started by Bronson Alcott, the father of Louisa May Alcott, who grew up to write Little Women.

I think it’s so fascinating how Bronson was such a radical but how he was kind of a mess of a human being himself. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but I just love seeing the relationship dynamics between him and his wife as they struggle to unders
Having toured the Fruitlands' Museum that encompasses several buildings, this was a fascintating read. Also having read Little Women for a recent book club selection, it was equally as fascinating to read that the background for many of Louisa's fictional situations were a result of her Fruitlands experiences.

The inter-connected friendships of Alcott, Emerson and Thoreau as well as the people who sought differing lifestyles in the communities spinging up in Europe and New England was educationa
I should be clear that the 5-star rating is only for people who are interested in this topic (Fruitlands, Bronson Alcott, Transcendentalism, utopian communities in the early 1800's). I am moderately interested in this topic, and enjoyed both the information that was presented and the writing style. The author, Richard Francis, evidently has written about other utopian communities and he brings that knowledge to "Fruitlands." I am left puzzled as to why Bronson Alcott is held in such esteem - may ...more
This was an interesting read, but it might or might not be what you expect. This is much more about Bronson Alcott than about Louisa, for instance. So if you were looking for something Louisa-centric, this isn't it. I'm interested in both of them, so that was OK.

You'll see a lot more background information about Bronson Alcott and about Charles Lane in this book than you've probably seen in other books. It's largely based on surviving diary entries and letters from the family, friends, and resid
I wish I could give three and a half stars. This book covered an incredible amount of interesting history, citations and all, but a little more narrative and background would have made it a bit easier for a non-academic like myself to enjoy. Overall, an excellent read, but you do need your thinking cap on when you sit down with it.
This was actually ver interesting in terms of utopian communities and the Alcott family. It's unfinished however. I think I just couldn't get into as much detail as was necessary to finish it. Still, happy to have it on my shelf.
Jenny marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
Elisabeth marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Cinnamon Swirl
Cinnamon Swirl marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
Batsheva marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2015
Lisa marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
Nikoleta Sremac
Nikoleta Sremac is currently reading it
Nov 11, 2014
Amanda marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2014
Jodi Vandenberg-Daves
Jodi Vandenberg-Daves marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
Jocelyn Nesson dosick
Jocelyn Nesson dosick marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Rebecca Dosick bernzweig
Rebecca Dosick bernzweig marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Kathleen marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Cheryl marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
Sarah added it
Jan 27, 2015
Sarah marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2014
Diana marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The idea for writing TEAM came after the 9/11 attacks when
search and rescue dogs were used to find victims and possible survivors in the rubble. Why not have a dog help find the hostages and rescue them with his handler. On hikes and walks I would carry a note book and write down ideas for the story. And of course my inspiration and co-worker LT. has been to all my booksignings and also signs the
More about Richard Francis...
Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience Ann the Word: The Story of Ann Lee, Female Messiah, Mother of the Shakers, the Woman Clothed with the Sun Jasper Johns The Old Spring Blackpool Vanishes

Share This Book