“Welcome to Our Home!”: Staging Practices at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House


  • Klara Stephanie Szlezák




Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, today a major site of literary tourism in New England, reaches out to and draws in visitors who wish to experience first-hand the premises where the Alcotts lived and where Little Women“, one of America’s favorite novels, was written. The essay investigates to what extent, however, this and other house museums rely on staging and argues that a close reading of the material culture reveals the limitations of a claim for ‘authenticity.’ 

Author Biography

Klara Stephanie Szlezák

After her studies at the University of Regensburg, at Williams College, MA, and at the Université de Lyon, Klara Stephanie Szlezák received her M.A. in American Studies, French Studies, and German Studies at the University of Regensburg. She is currently a doctoral student and assistant lecturer at the University of Regensburg. In her doctoral thesis she is working on processes of memorialization and practices of staging in houses/house museums that display the lives and works of nineteenth-century writers throughout New England, investigating the materialization of cultural memory in its various forms. Her further academic interests include immigration history and photography, the larger context of her M.A. thesis from which she distilled an essay on Lewis Hine for the second issue of aspeers“ (2009).


How to Cite

Szlezák, Klara Stephanie. “‘Welcome to Our Home!’: Staging Practices at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 12, May 2012, doi:10.5283/copas.138.