Books

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.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Curl up with the classic novel that inspired the BBC series

Loved by generations around the world, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a truly universal coming-of-age story, as relevant and engaging today as it was when originally published in 1868. Set against the backdrop of a country divided, the story follows the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, on their journey from childhood to adulthood. With the help of their mother, the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman - from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage.

This three-part adaptation has been written by Call the Midwife and Cranford creator Heidi Thomas and directed by Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen, My Mad Fat Diary). It features a stellar cast including Academy award-winner Dame Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote, The Manchurian Candidate) as the girls’ wealthy relative - the cantankerous Aunt March. Bafta-winner Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Churchill’s Secret) takes the role of their benevolent neighbour Mr. Laurence, and Jonah Hauer-King (Howards End) will play Laurie, the charming boy next door.

Newcomer Maya Hawke takes the role of wilful and adventurous Jo, Willa Fitzgerald will play the eldest daughter Meg, Annes Elwy will play Beth, and Kathryn Newton takes the role of the youngest sister Amy.

This is a combined edition of the original text of Little Women and the second novel in the series, Good Wives.

Sisters

Louisa May Alcott

Your sister might be the kindred soul who knows you best, or the most alien being in your household; she might enrage you or inspire you; she might be your fiercest competitor or closest co-conspirator, but she'll always share with you a totally unique bond. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are four of the most famous sisters in literature, and these stories of the joys and heartaches they share are a touching celebration of the special ties of sisterhood.

Selected from the books Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Motherhood by Helen Simpson
Babies by Anne Enright
Love by Jeanette Winterson

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (and others)

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the evergreen classic novel by Louisa May Alcott.

With their father away fighting in the American Civil War, the four March girls are facing a lean Christmas with their mother. But the sisters’ close bond and determination to make the best of things enables them to find happiness despite their poverty.

As the years go by we follow their fortunes as they journey into womanhood. Meg the beauty, Jo the tomboy, shy Beth and precocious Amy will encounter adventure, hardship, joys and disappointments, and learn to meet the challenges of life as they become independent and make their way in the world. While marriage and motherhood may beckon for the sisters, their most enduring love is always for each other.

First published in 1868 and never out of print since, this iconic coming-of-age tale is a perennial favourite that has touched the hearts of generations of readers. This moving BBC Radio 4 dramatisation stars Natasha J Barnes, Julianna Jennings, Bryony Hannah and Samantha Dakin as Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, with Tara Ward as Mrs March and Alex Lanipekun as Laurie.

Jo's Boys

Louisa May Alcott

'My dear girls, stop your mud-pies and hear the news!'

Ten years after Little Men, the boys that Jo raised are all grown-up. But that certainly doesn’t mean that they no longer need her help and advice. Emil, now as sailor, must survive shipwreck and disaster. Dan’s attempt to make his fortune ends in prison. Nat’s career in music takes him to Europe, to a life of frivolity and a tricky romantic muddle. But returning to Plumfield to tell their tales, they are, and will always be, Jo’s boys.

Includes exclusive content: In the ‘Backstory’ you can discover the story behind the Little Women series and take the Jo’s Boys quiz

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Little Men

Louisa May Alcott

‘We always allow one pillow-fight Saturday night’

Did you ever wonder what happened to Jo March from Little Women? She grew up, of course, and followed her dream to become a writer. In addition, she opened a school, home to her two children and twelve other boys. There’s accident-prone Tommy, bookish Demi, and greedy Stuffy. Into this large, unusual family arrives Nat – a skinny, nervous orphan boy with no schooling, just a fearless talent for the violin. Amid all the scrapes and japes of twelve rambunctious boys, can little Nat find his place at Plumfield?

Includes exclusive material: In the 'Backstory' you can find out what inspired the author and test your knowledge of Jo’s enormous family...

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott

Good Wives is the second story about the March family.

Three years on from Little Women, the March girls and their friend Laurie are young adults with their futures ahead of them. Although they all face painful trials along the way - from Meg's sad lesson in housekeeping to Laurie's disappointment in love and a tragedy which touches them all - each of the girls finally finds happiness, if not always in the way they expect.

The book includes a behind-the-scenes journey, including an author profile, a guide to who's who, activities and more..

Also in Puffin Classics: Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys.

Jo's Boys

Louisa May Alcott

Ten years after the school at Plumfield was founded, Jo's boys - including wanderer Dan, sailor Emil and musician Nat - are grown up and discovering more about the world. But life after childhood can be confusing and frightening, and it is Jo and the warm-hearted March family who can comfort and guide the boys when they need it the most...

Little Men

Louisa May Alcott

With two young sons of her own, and twelve rescued orphan boys filling the unusual school at Plumfield, Jo March - now Mrs Jo Bhaer - couldn't be happier. But the boys have a habit of getting into scrapes, and their mischievous antics call for the warm and affectionate support of the whole March family to help avoid disaster...

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn't be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they're putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there's one thing they can't help wondering: Will Father return home safely?

A Merry Christmas

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott's enchanting Christmas stories, presented in a beautiful hardcover edition perfect for giving as a gift.

A Merry Christmas collects the best holiday stories of Louisa May Alcott, from the yuletide festivities of Marmee and her 'little women' to the moving 'What Love Can Do'. Deeply influenced by real-life events, including characters based on Alcott's family members and drawing from her experiences participating in the suffrage and abolitionist movements, these stories have the authentic texture and detail of Christmas in nineteenth-century America.

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1832. Her family later moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where Alcott was influenced by their neighbours Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. At a young age, Louisa took on some of the family's financial burdens, working as a domestic, a teacher, and a writer. In 1868 and 1869, fame and fortune came with the publication of Little Women. The author of many novels and an active campaigner for temperance and women's suffrage, Alcott died in 1888.

Ladybird Classics: Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (and others)

This Ladybird Classic is an abridged retelling of the classic story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, making it perfect for introducing the story to younger children, or for newly confident readers to tackle alone.

Beautiful new illustrations throughout and a gorgeous larger format with ribbon marker bring the magic of this classic story to a new generation of children.

Little Women (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Louisa May Alcott

The beloved story of the March girls is a classic American novel, telling the story of four sisters: independent, tomboyish Jo; delicate, loving Beth; pretty, kind Meg; and precocious, beautiful Amy, the baby of the family. The charming story of these four "little women" and their wise and patient mother Marmee enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England was an instant success when first published in 1868 and has been adored for generations.

Bringing together traditional handicraft with cutting-edge book design, the Penguin Threads series has already created a huge buzz among the art and book-collecting communities. This latest set features cover art by painter and illustrator Rachell Sumpter, who brings a unique, whimsical sensibility to the Threads. With vivid colours and ambitiously intricate details, these additions to our innovative series commissioned by award-winning creative director Paul Buckley are rich works of art to be cherished and shared.

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott

'As they sat together in the twilight, talking over their small plans, the future always grew so beautiful and bright'

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy have grown up together in Orchard House with their friend Laurie next door, and now it's time for them to go out and find their places in the big wide world, to do the great and marvellous things they've dreamed of and discover their 'castles in the air'. They each find themselves tested, and fall in love, but when tragedy strikes they find their best comfort is in each other, and home.

BACKSTORY: Learn more about the unusual author and have a go at making jam!

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

'Rich or poor, we will keep together and be happy in one another'

Christmas won't be the same this year for Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters is rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble.

BACKSTORY: Learn all about the author's life and how it inspired her famous story, and find out which of the March sisters you most resemble!

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…To Warm You in Cold Weather: Little Women And Good Wives & The Cranford Chronicles

Elizabeth Gaskell (and others)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

LITTLE WOMEN & GOOD WIVES
Life in the March household is full of adventures and accidents as the four very different March sisters follow their varying paths to adulthood, always maintaining the special bond between them. Sensible Meg, impetuous Jo, shy Beth and artistic Amy each have to confront different challenges as they grow up together and attempt to learn how to be both happy and good.

THE CRANFORD CHRONICLES
Follow the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford, a small Cheshire market town, during one extraordinary year.
The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order. The arrival of handsome young Doctor Harrison causes yet further agitation not just because of his revolutionary methods but also because of his effect on the hearts of the ladies. Meanwhile Miss Matty's memories of long-ago heartache are rekindled.

Little Women and Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott

Life in the March household is full of adventures and accidents as the four very different March sisters follow their varying paths to adulthood, always maintaining the special bond between them. Sensible Meg, impetuous Jo, shy Beth and artistic Amy each have to confront different challenges as they grow up together and attempt to learn how to be both happy and good.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (and others)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a classic novel loved by adults and children alike.

Come laugh and cry with the March family.

Meg - the sweet-tempered one. Jo - the smart one. Beth - the shy one. Amy - the sassy one.

Together they're the March sisters. Their father is away at war and times are difficult, but the bond between the sisters is strong.

The family may not have much money, but that doesn't stop them from creating their own fun and forming a secret society.

Through sisterly squabbles, happy times and sad, their four lives follow very different paths, and they discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do...

***PLUS a behind-the-scenes journey, including an author profile, a guide to who's who, activities and more...***

Louisa May Alcott (1832-88) was brought up in Pennsylvania, USA. She turned to writing in order to supplement the family income and had many short stories published in magazines and newspapers.
She was reluctant to write a children's book but then realized that in herself and her three sisters she had the perfect models. The result was Little Women (1868) which became the earliest American to become a classic.

The Puffin Classics relaunch includes:
A Little Princess
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass
Anne of Green Gables series
Black Beauty
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales
Heidi
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Little Women series
Peter Pan
Tales of the Greek Heroes
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of King Arthur
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Call of the Wild
The Jungle Book
The Odyssey
The Secret Garden
The Wind in the Willows
The Wizard of Oz
Treasure Island

The Chase

Louisa May Alcott

'I often feel as if I'd gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom. '

Rosamond Vivian has been brought up as a recluse on a remote island off the English coast. When Phillip Tempest - charming, devastatingly handsome and almost twice Rosamond's age - mysteriously appears one stormy night he finds a peach ripe for the plucking. 'I am willing to pay for my pleasure if necessary,' Rosamond asserts boldly, but nothing can prepare her for the life that Phillip Tempest will lure her into sharing with him.

Instead of the freedom she craves, Rosamond finds herself caught up in the strange past of her new husband. Terrified of him and all he represents, she flees, adn so the chase begins - from Parisian garret to a mental asylum, from convent to chateau. But Phillip Tempest has never allowed anything to escape him, and Rosamond has become his obsession.

A compusive tale of love, desire and deceit, The Chase was considered too sensational to be published during Louisa may Alcott's lifetime. Its discovery after more than a century marks a new page in literary history.

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott

When "Little Women" came to its last chapter Meg was engaged and the other three March girls, Beth, Jo and Amy, were at the threshold of young-womanhood. "Good Wives" opens three years later, with Meg and her family happily preparing for her marriage to John Brooke.

Biography

Louisa May Alcott (1832-88) was brought up in Pennsylvania, USA. She turned to writing in order to supplement the family income and had many short stories published in magazines and newspapers. Then, in 1862, during the height of the American Civil War, Louisa went to Georgetown to work as a nurse, but she contracted typhoid. Out of her experiences she wrote Hospital Sketches (1864) which won wide acclaim, followed by an adult novel, Moods.

She was reluctant to write a children's book but then realized that in herself and her three sisters she had the perfect models. The result was Little Women (1868) which became the earliest American children's novel to become a classic