"If in Emerson's study perpetual twilight reigns," wrote a visitor to Orchard House in 1874, "in Alcott's it is always noon.  The great sun shines in it all day, the great fireplace roars, and the warm crimson hangings temper the sunlight and reflect the firelight. Quaint mottoes and pictures hang on the walls."  Mr. Alcott's books fill the shelves, the room is furnished with his desks, chairs, and a handmade revolving bookcase, while the walls hold images of his friends, neighbors, and sources of inspiration -- Emerson, Thoreau, Sanborn, Hawthorne, John Brown, Thomas Carlyle, and his own mother, Anna Bronson Alcox.  Here, Mr. Alcott could also sit and gaze upon a beautiful portrait of his youngest daughter May, who spent her last years in Europe.  In 1879, the Concord Summer School of Philosophy, an adult education series created by Mr. Alcott, first met in this room until a larger building adjacent to Orchard House was constructed the next year.  A bust of Mr. Alcott in the niche of this room was carved by noted American sculptor Daniel Chester French, who was one of May's early art students.


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Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House