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Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume, entitled Good Wives. It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity." Little Women "has been read as a romance or as a quest, or both. It has been read as a family drama that validates virtue over wealth", but also "as a means of escaping that life by women who knew its gender constraints only too well". According to Sarah Elbert, Alcott created a new form of literature, one that took elements from Romantic children's fiction and combined it with others from sentimental novels, resulting in a totally new format. Elbert argued that within Little Women can be found the first vision of the "All-American girl" and that her multiple aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters.
and receive gratefully any help the trip may give her.’ ” “Oh, my tongue, my abominable tongue! Why can’t I learn to keep it quiet?” groaned Jo, remembering words which had been her undoing. When she had heard the explanation of the quoted phrases, Mrs. March said sorrowfully— “I wish you could have gone, but there is no hope of it this time; so try to bear it cheerfully, and don’t sadden Amy’s pleasure by reproaches or regrets.” “I’ll try,” said Jo, winking hard as she knelt down to pick up
judging from the remarks of the elegant beings who clattered away, smoking like bad chimneys. I hate ordinary people! Thursday Yesterday was a quiet day spent in teaching, sewing, and writing to my little room, which is very cozy, with a light and fire. I picked up a few bits of news and was introduced to the Professor. It seems that Tina is the child of the Frenchwoman who does the fine ironing in the laundry here. The little thing has lost her heart to Mr. Bhaer, and follows him about the
shone, “Oh, pitty day, oh, pitty day!” Everyone was a friend, and she offered kisses to a stranger so confidingly that the most inveterate bachelor relented, and baby-lovers became faithful worshipers. “Me loves evvybody,” she once said, opening her arms, with her spoon in one hand, and her mug in the other, as if eager to embrace and nourish the whole world. As she grew, her mother began to feel that the Dovecote would be blessed by the presence of an inmate as serene and loving as that which
her namesake, May’s infant daughter, Louisa May Nieriker, called Lulu. She ceases work on the novel Diana and Persis (published posthumously in 1978). Her novel Jack and Jill and the revised Moods are pub lished. Bronson Alcott founds the Concord School of Philoso phy. Too sick to write extensively, Alcott authorizes publication of many collections of previously published stories over the next several years. 1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson dies. Bronson suffers a stroke and gives up teaching. Virginia
satisfied. I only wish we may all keep well and be together, nothing else.” “I have ever so many wishes, but the pet one is to be an artist, and go to Rome, and do fine pictures, and be the best artist in the whole world” was Amy’s modest desire. “We’re an ambitious set, aren’t we? Every one of us, but Beth, wants to be rich and famous, and gorgeous in every respect. I do wonder if any of us will ever get our wishes,” said Laurie, chewing grass like a meditative calf. “I’ve got the key to my