Flowers have always been powerful ingredients in folk magic and Finland is not an exception. The habit of picking flowers and putting them into a vase was not something that regular folk did but the custom spread from the manors. Instead, flowers were turned into wreaths that were hanged above doors and windows to protect the cattle and prevent evil spirits from entering the buildings. Most of these spells were performed during Summer Solstice.

For those of you who do not speak Finnish, the Finnish language does not include prepositions (in, the, on) which can make my flower name translations…

Photo was taken by wonderful Sara Jones.

​Juhannus the summer solstice is one of the most joyous holidays in Finland. Cities become empty when families and friends travel to the countryside and to their summer cabins. From all the holidays Juhannus the summer solstice is the most pagan and the ancient customs of the holiday haven´t changed that much. For many summer solstice is magical time simply because the sun does not go down. This is the time when the sun is closest to the earth in the northern hemisphere.

Listen the podcast episode here:

https://youtu.be/POvEovOf_yk

Hello, Little Women fans!

Today´s comment shout out goes to @justanavengersfan who says the following:

“Laurie is always a boy to Jo and when she speaks about Nat or Teddy as daughters, you can really see that she was never going to find Laurie attractive”.

Jo the books never finds Laurie attractive. Friedrich is her sexual awakening. There are quite a few scenes in Little Men and Jo´s Boys where Jo refers to Nat and Laurie as “girly” or “daughters”. I am surprised that not that many people discuss this. I think it´s really…

Today´s comment shutout goes to Melodie. This is what she says:

I wish, instead of remaking “Little Women” into a story where Jo is happy as a spinster, they’d give us a movie about Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau. I want to see THAT story! Maybe folks would understand that Friedrich was the real prize then. And maybe they could understand better that Louisa did not remain unmarried because she wished it. She needed meeting of the minds, mutual respect sort of love.

It’s my experience that Jo and Laurie shippers are usually folks who haven’t read the…

When Laurie starts to make his moves on Jo the book Jo feels very uncomfortable by that. She says no many times, but he doesn´t listen or respect her. In the book, Jo is a way more mature character than Laurie is but in the recent adaptations this is not the case. In Greta Gerwig´s film after Jo has nearly confessed to Marmee that she is in love with Friedrich the film Jo suddenly decides to write Laurie and accept his proposal. …

There has been lots of unnecessary stereotyping made towards Friedrich´s character. I will point out some of them, partly because they are truly ridiculous but also because they show how long a journey we have to understand Louisa May Alcott´s world view. In one supposedly “feminist” study that I read, the author pointed out that Bhaer having Shakespeare, Milton, Plato and Homer in addition to his German Bible in his bookshelf represent the way Jo is now a captive of the male power.

Apparently, if a fictional male character who happens to be a teacher of philosophy has books about…

I am going to read you a quote from my friend Chelley and Chelley knows Louisa May Alcott´s books like their own pockets. “ “In my opinion, Louisa May Alcott draws a lot of deliberate similarities between characters like Laurie, Charlie in Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, Tom in an old fashioned girl, Jack in Jack and Jill and Thorny in under the lilacs. All of whom are raised in relatively comfortable settings. Are kind-hearted and clever, and talented but more than a little wild, and indolent, and are influenced whether for good or evil, most heavily by women…

The self-censoring happens even in Little Women. It raises the question what is the intention of the author? In the book when Amy burns Jo´s manuscript it happens because Jo has been bullying Amy for weeks and she has had enough. Little Women is framed against Pilgrim´s process. A story where the protagonist learns to overcome their biggest flaws. For Jo, her biggest flaw is her temper. Why would Louisa make her literal counterpart to face that if there was no intention? She is the creator and the one who controls the story? another explanation is that Louisa is censoring…

Susan Cheever writes in American Bloomsbury that every-time when Alcott´s moved back to Concord, Louisa would find herself loving Henry more and more every time when they returned. Louisa loved very masculine men. She writes in her journals that she loves soldiers and uniforms. She writes in her journals that Henry is the perfect man and there is a quote where she compares Henry to Napoleon and her friend Emerson to Goethe.

In Little Women Friedrich is Jo´s sexual awakening. He is written to be more masculine and more mature than Laurie. He has a beard, big hands, deep voice…

Niina's Fairychamber

Illustrator, writer and a folklorist. Likes cats, tea and period dramas. Currently writing a book about Finnish mythology. A host of the Little Women Podcast.

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