Books

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

This new hardback edition is one of five special Puffin Classic editions created in partnership with the world-famous V & A Museum, with exquisite cover designs from their William Morris collection.

Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then there's tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally there's Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Together they are the March sisters. Even though money is short, times are tough and their father is away at war, their infectious sense of fun sweeps everyone up in their adventures - including Laurie, the boy next door. And through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.

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.

Duration: 2 hours 20 mins approx.

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...

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...

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

'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.

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.

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.

Little Men

Louisa May Alcott

Just two years after the extraordinarily successful publication of LITTLE WOMEN and GOOD WIVES, Louisa Alcott's brother-in-law died, leaving two sons. She immediately decided to write a sequel to provide for her sister and nephews, and LITTLE MEN, published in 1871, became a tribute to her father's theories of education. The story is set in Plumfield, a school run by Jo and her German husband, Professor Bhaer, and they follow the precepts of Grandpa March in cultivating the little mind - 'not tasking it with long hard lessons, parrot-learned, but helping it to unfold as naturally and beautifully as sun and dew help roses bloom'. The different ways in which the children, good and bad, respond to this kind of nurturing make up the episodes of the novel which instantly proved as popular as its predecessors, selling 42, 000 in the first year after its publication.

Biography

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.