A room of her own had always been a priority for
Louisa May Alcott. With her often turbulent emotions, active imagination, and
serious pre-occupation with her family's financial welfare, a haven into which she could escape to find the solitude and freedom to write was indispensible. When the family first moved into Orchard House, Louisa's father not only built a
bookcase cupboard for her, but the half-moon writing desk between the two front windows as well. It was at this desk in 1868 that Louisa wrote Little Women -- a book that would change the course of American literature as well as the Alcotts' lives. When Louisa was recuperating from typhoid pneumonia she contracted during her service as a Civil War nurse, her youngest sister May painted
a panel of calla lilies and nasturtiums beside the writing desk to cheer her; May later rendered a baby owl on Louisa's mantel and the oil painting of an owl that hangs on the outer wall by Louisa's bed.
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