Authors’ Ridge


 As November 29th  is the birthday of Louisa May Alcott, we thought it appropriate to dedicate this post to her.

We have made it a practice when we go on vacation to find either an author’s home or an author’s museum to tour. We did so on our trip to Boston where we also visited the neighboring town of Concord, Massachusetts.  There we toured the home of Louisa May Alcott, which is remarkably like the home used in the original movie, Little Women.

But what excited us most was to climb a hill in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at Concord to the very top, where we found Authors’ Ridge. It was fitting that on the day we visited, it was a dark, overcast day with the threat of rain heavy in the air. The climb was steep, every footstep labored and slow, yet we were eventually rewarded by the view. As we neared the graves, our speed picked up.

Four Famous Authors

Four famous authors are buried there, and on each grave something had been left by visitors, something of significance. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tombstone carried a black rose, a parallel to his dark writing. Ralph Waldo Emerson was blessed with a penny , the price to get him across The River Styx to Hades on the other side. On Henry David Thoreau’s grave, beaded necklaces and leather pouches lay, honoring his life of solitude and of communing with nature.

An Author’s Legacy

As we started out as children’s mystery writers with Royal Fireworks Press in New York, a publisher of educational materials for gifted children who published five of our books, we were particularly interested in the grave of Louisa May Alcott. It was not a surprise to us that, on her grave, children had left folded pieces of notebook paper with such writing as: You are the best writer ever. And… I love all your books. There were others, but you get the point. This wonderful author created fond memories for children and even inspired some to write.

Although the writers buried on Authors’ Ridge are diverse in what they shared with the world, from the macabre to the transcendental and beyond, and although we are impressed by each, we can think of no greater legacy for a writer than that left by Louisa May Alcott.

Suella and Lawrence

About Lawrence and Suella Walsh
Managing Editors of Mystery, Ink. Novels. Taught writing for 20 years at Johnson County Community College. Freelance writers with 12 published books and more than 100 articles and short stories in national magazines. Owners of Walsh Writing Services.

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