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My Owl (Group 1) : My Owl

Abigail May Alcott Nieriker

My Owl (Group 1)

<p style='text-align: justify;'> This manuscript has ambiguous origins, particularly regarding the author's publishing intentions. Officially, it is considered by scholars to have been intended as part of <i>An Artists Holiday</i>, which was a text that documented May Alcott's travels around Europe. This is a credible argument, as May Alcott spent many years living in Paris and London as a revolutionary female artist and mentor. Her time spent studying the great artists in Paris, especially her time there as a student during which she successfully submitted two paintings to the Paris salon, is reflected in <i>My Owl</i>. Despite this, there is still contention among scholars as to whether the text was authored by May or her sister, Louisa May Alcott. The complexity surrounding the intention for the manuscript is also mirrored in May's complex relationship with her sister. Arguably, despite May's best efforts to live independently abroad, their lives remained intertwined, and this greatly affected May's creative output. Although her paintings were her own, parts of <i>An Artist's Holiday</i> were published under Louisa's name, possibly due to Louisa's status as a famous author. Clearly, <i>My Owl</i> is a complex and cryptic manuscript that not only captures the ambitious excitement of female artists in Paris in the 1870s, but also the fragility of life as a female artist. </p>

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