Transcendental Wild Oats by Louisa May Alcott

A Chapter from an Unwritten Romance (1883)

Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Published in The Independent on December 18, 1873.

Louisa May Alcott wrote this biting satire on life in a 19th century Utopian community, based on her own family's experience at Fruitlands. Many of those involved with the community were also part of the Transcendentalist circles. She portrays the father figure as a dreamer and intellectual, and the mother as the one who has to do all the work to meet worldly needs like food and shelter.

Full text