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Little Women

Little Women

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888).

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ISBN 9781500607869
Published 22 July 2014 by Createspace
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
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Author(s) By Alcott, Louisa May
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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781500607869
ISBN-10 150060786X
Stock Out of stock
Status Not currently available
Publisher Createspace
Imprint Createspace
Publication Date 22 July 2014
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Author(s) By Alcott, Louisa May
Category Modern Fiction
Classic Fiction
Number of Pages 248 pp
Dimensions Width: 216mm
Height: 280mm
Spine: 13mm
Weight 585g
Interest Age 16+ years
Reading Age 16+ years
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text Children/juvenile
Dewey Code Not specified
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

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. In 1868, Thomas Niles, the publisher of Louisa May Alcott, recommended that she write a book about girls that would have widespread appeal. At first she resisted, preferring to publish a collection of her short stories. Niles pressed her to write the girls' book first, and he was aided by her father Bronson Alcott, who also urged her to do so. In May 1868, Alcott wrote in her journal: Niles, partner of Roberts, asked me to write a girl's book. I said I'd try. Alcott set her novel in an imaginary Orchard House modeled on her own residence of the same name, where she wrote the novel. She later recalled that she did not think she could write a successful book for girls and did not enjoy writing it. I plod away, she wrote in her diary, although I don't enjoy this sort of things. Scholars classify Little Women as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel. By June, Alcott had sent the first dozen chapters to Niles, and both agreed these were dull. But Niles' niece Lillie Almy read them and said she enjoyed them. The completed manuscript was shown to several girls, who agreed it was splendid. Alcott wrote, they are the best critics, so I should definitely be satisfied. She wrote Little Women in record time for money, but the book's immediate success surprised both her and her publisher. According to literary critic Sarah Elbert, when using the term little women, Alcott was drawing on its Dickensian meaning; it represented the period in a young woman's life where childhood and elder childhood were overlapping with young womanhood. Each of the March sister heroines had a harrowing experience that alerted her and the reader that childhood innocence was of the past, and that the inescapable woman problem was all that remained. Other views suggest that the title was meant to highlight the inferiority of women as compared to men, or, alternatively, describe the lives of simple people, unimportant in the social sense.

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Author's Bio

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 - March 6, 1888) was an American novelist.

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