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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

Books

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 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.

Little Women And Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott

Written in six weeks, and at first thought by its editor to be 'dull', this story of an American family - four sisters and their mother living through the months while father is away in the Civil War - has a universal and enduring appeal. The reason is clear. Louisa Alcott based her story on her own experience of family life. 'Not a bit sensational', she wrote, 'but simple and true, for we really lived most of it. ' When published in 1868, the book was illustrated by May Alcott, Louisa's mother. GOOD WIVES, a sequel to LITTEL WOMEN, was published in 1869, taking up the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy three years on. In 1912 an English artist, Millicent Etheldreda Gray, with a reputation for closely-worked studies of domestic settings, was commissioned by Hodder and Stoughton to paint twelve watercolours for this most long-lasting of all family stories. A new feature film of LITTLE WOMEN will be released by Columbia Pictures in 1995 starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon and directed by Gillian Armstrong.

Louisa May Alcott also has results for younger readers on ladybird.

Discover Ladybird Classics: Little WomenLittle Menand more