Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott


Little Women is a coming-of-age novel written by American novelist Louisa May Alcott.
Originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, Alcott wrote the book over several months at the request of her publisher. The story follows the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—and details their passage from childhood to womanhood. Loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters, it is classified as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel.
Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, with readers eager for more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume. It was also met with success. The two volumes were issued in 1880 as a single novel titled Little Women. Alcott subsequently wrote two sequels to her popular work, both also featuring the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). 
The novel has been said to address three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity."  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 genre. Elbert argues that within Little Women can be found the first vision of the "All-American girl" and that her various aspects are embodied in the differing March sisters.
The book has been translated into numerous languages, and frequently adapted for stage and screen.
Excerpted from Little Women on Wikipedia.

person AuthorLouisa May Alcott
language CountryUnited States
api GenreBildungsromanDomestic fiction, Romances, Children's Literature
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover-
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47
auto_stories Read onlineLITTLE WOMEN
--Reader: Group, Dramatic Readings--

PART I
Four sisters and their mother, whom they call Marmee, live in a new neighborhood (loosely based on Concord) in Massachusetts in genteel poverty. Having lost all his money, their father is serving as a chaplain for the Union Army in the American Civil War, far from home. The mother and daughters face their first Christmas without him. When Marmee asks her daughters to give their Christmas breakfast away to an impoverished family, the girls and their mother venture into town laden with baskets to feed the hungry children. When they return, they discover their wealthy, elderly neighbor Mr. Laurence has sent over a decadent surprise dinner to make up for their breakfast. The two families become acquainted following these acts of kindness...


PART II
(Published separately in the United Kingdom as Good Wives)
Three years later, Meg and John marry and learn how to live together. When they have twins, Meg is a devoted mother but John begins to feel neglected and left out. Meg seeks advice from Marmee, who helps her find balance in her married life by making more time for wifely duties and encouraging John to become more involved with child rearing...