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Author(s): Richard Francis

Location(s): Massachusetts

Genre(s): Historical

Era(s): 1840s

Set up in Masschusetts in 1843, the utopian experiment of Fruitlands ended in a fiasco. Its founders, Bronson alcott, a teacher (father of Louisa May Alcott), and Charles Lane, a lifelong vegetarian, hoped to create a second Eden, where people could freely feast off the fruits of the earth. The reality was a life of porridge and indigestion that lasted just seven months and drew in a gradn total of 14 members, some of them children. Until now, Fruitlands has never attracted a book-length history. With this deeply researched and gracefully written account, the novelist and historian Richard Francis fills that gap, in a biography of the chief particpants that is full of bathos (Bee Wilson, Sunday Times)

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