Did you know that this year Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women turns 150? She was a remarkable woman, who didn’t really want to become famous for a book about girls (she preferred boys, or writing Gothic thrillers), and yet her novel about four sisters growing up in the American Civil War has been much loved by generations of readers.
There have been many film versions, and a new one is due out soon. A new book about how she came to write the novel is to be published soon: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux. A book I loved concerns not only Louisa and her family, but their literary friends, the Hawthornes, Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Concord Quartet by Samuel A. Schreiner Jnr gives a remarkable picture of an extraordinary era in American literary history.
Another wonderful book is Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and her Father by John Matteson. Did you know that Louisa died just two days after her father, never knowing that he had gone? I think one of the most moving sights in all of America is the little half-moon-shaped desk which he built in her bedroom at Orchard House, Concord, shown in the picture above. It was upon that desk that she wrote Little Women.
This anniversary year is a great time to re-read the novel and learn more about the determined woman behind it.
Is Little Women a favourite of yours? Can you recommend any other books about this era? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Susannah Fullerton: Louisa May Alcott & Little Women video talk
Susannah Fullerton: First volume of Little Women is published
Susannah Fullerton: Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott
Susannah Fullerton: Louisa May Alcott dies
Louisa May Alcott Society
Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House
I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.
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