Louisa May Alcott

Little Women
  • Little Women

  • Louisa May Alcott

    SPECIAL 150TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    One hundred and fifty years ago, at the request of her publisher, Louisa May Alcott sat down reluctantly to write 'a girls' book'. Knowing that, contrary to society’s expectations, girls often had to be brave, resourceful and bold, that the private lives of girls were colourful and surprising, Alcott wrote a book in which girls would recognise themselves. She drew on her own experiences and those of her impoverished New England family in writing her new novel, and declared, when she was finished, that it was better than she expected: 'Not a bit sensational, but simple and true, for we really lived most of it, and if it succeeds that will be the reason of it. . .'

    Simple, true, and keenly resonant with life, spirit and affection, Little Women did succeed, delighting readers across the world, and it has never been out of print since its first publication in 1868. Whichever sister you are drawn to, be it sensible, romantic Meg or sweet, sunshiny Beth, whether you are burning with ambition like Jo, or share with Amy the wish for a more beautiful nose, the March girls are all irresistible, and will go on winning hearts and capturing imaginations for the next 150 years to come.

    Includes the sequel Good Wives.

Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania. Her father was friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Alcott started selling stories in order to help provide financial support for her family. Her first book was Flower Fables (1854). She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War and in 1863 she published Hospital Sketches, which was based on her experiences. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa May Alcott was an abolitionist and a campaigner for women's rights. She died on 6 March 1888.