Eight Cousins

Or The Aunt-hill

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Eight Cousins
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Publisher: Boston, c1927
Branch Call Number: J FIC A
Additional Contributors: Price, Hattie Longstreet Illustrator

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Nov 27, 2011
  • crankylibrarian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Not quite as good as I remembered, and a notch or two below the great Little Women, but those who think of Louisa May Alcott as a stodgy 19th century moralist will be astonished at some of the shockingly modern opinions she expresses. Rose, a rather droopy, recently orphaned 13 year old is handed over to the care of a clutch of fussy aunts. Not until dynamic Uncle Alec takes over does Rose recover her health and spirits, as he promptly banishes corsets, coffee, and "ladylike" pursuits in favor of housework, hearty food, and the companionship of her 7 rambunctious male cousins. Dr Alec is a bit of a Renaissance man (he can sew, cook, speak several languages, and practice medicine) and a clear devotee of Rousseau: Rose's "geography" lesson consists of learning to sail a boat and visit merchant ships from China. There's the usual Alcott paean to self-reliance and anti-snobbery, (Rose and Dr Alec both admire the quietly independent housemaid Phebe for her skillful common sense and work ethic), but also some delightful ridicule of then current fashion trends that kept women from being able to move or even breathe healthily. Best of all is Alcott's critique of "the gospel of getting on"; Rose's Aunt Jessie, the most sensible of the aunts declares, "This love of money is the curse of America, and for it men will sell honor and honesty".

Sep 03, 2010
  • CA_TestStaff rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An orphaned girl goes to live with her Uncle and meets all her male cousins (and their parents) for the first time.

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