Anna Alcott Pratt

And when your heart is light and happy
Anna, dear, then think of me

- from "To Anna" by Louisa May Alcott

Anna Bronson Alcott, the first of four sisters, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on March 16, 1831.

Although a  member of a highly individualistic, non-conformist family, Anna fit more easily than her sisters into the mold of "Victorian Womanhood."  She was the dutiful daughter, the good student, the self-sacrificing governess and eventually the model wife and mother.  Gentle and loving in temperament, she was often the one to give emotional shelter to the members of her family through life’s many storms.

Anna was stage-struck from an early age and had secret longings "to shine before the world as a great actress or Prima Donna."  In her youth, she and her sister Louisa created romantic melodramas which they performed for friends.  One visitor to the Alcott' home commented on the talents of the actresses:  "If Louisa could make our sides ache with laughter, Anna could cause handkerchiefs to come out and much swallowing of lumps in the throat."

In 1858, the year they moved to Orchard House, Louisa and Anna helped form the Concord Dramatic Union; another member of the group was John Bridge Pratt.  He and Anna fell in love while playing opposite each other in a play called "The Loan of a Lover."

Anna was depicted as "Meg March" in Little Women, with the description of Meg’s wedding in the book actually taken from Anna’s real-life wedding.  Anna and John were married in the Parlor of Orchard House on May 23, 1860.  Of her wedding Anna wrote:

I was in a dream, the lovely day, the bright May sunshine streaking in upon the sweet flowers and loving faces, the influence of the kind hearts around me. All seemed so beautiful that although my heart beat fast and the tears came to my eyes, I did not feel like Annie.  John looked like an angel, fair, innocent, with such loving eyes that I could not look at them but only held his hand and thought, ‘He is my husband.’

Sadly, John died after only ten years of marriage, leaving Anna with their two young sons, Frederick and John.  In 1877, with Louisa's help, Anna purchased the Thoreau House on Main Street in Concord.  Her last years were spent caring for those she loved.

Archival photographs of the family and objects in the collection are available for a fee.

All requests must be made in writing, allowing at least 2-3 weeks for processing.

Please click here to e-mail your photo request, or, write to Attn:  Photo Requests,
PO Box 343, Concord, MA  01742-0343.

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Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association/Orchard House