Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia, By Richard Francis

Flawed dream of paradise that gave life to 'Little Women'

And the moral of the story is – never marry a zealot. Inspired by English Transcendentalism and arguments with Emerson, Bronson Alcott founded a new community in Concord, Massachusetts.

Where he also installed his family (one of his daughters, Louisa May, would grow up to write Little Women and carry on many of his religious principles into that novel). But my, it was an impossibly hard life, where most of the manual labour fell to the women, and that was all on a diet of fruit, water and bread. Alcott sacrificed his family to his own romantic hankerings for a pre-lapsarian world and the pain showed. Oddly amusing and terrifying by turns.