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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women (original 1868; edition 1868)

by Louisa May Alcott

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English (349)  Spanish (6)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (364)
Showing 1-5 of 349 (next | show all)
My full review is available at the bibliophagist. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
One of the most wonderful novels ever written. No plot twists and turns or high level literary maneuvers. It's just a beautiful story about family and the old Americana that sort of whisks you away to a time we can almost not imagine anymore if not for books such as these. ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 10, 2016 |
Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, which is now a part of Philadelphia, in 1832. But soon she moved with her family to the Boston-area, where she and her three sisters Anna, Elizabeth and May grew up. The four girls were educated by their father Bronson Alcott, who was a member of the New England Transcendentalists. Through him Louisa met other Transcendentalists like Theodore Parker, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Influenced by these great writers it is not surprising that Lousias greatest passion was writing. She had a rich imagination and often made up stories that she and her sisters act out for their parents or friends. She started her career as a serious author partly because she needed to earn some money to support the family who was not always wealthy. In the beginning, Louisa wrote poetry and short stories, later on the novels.

At the age of 35 her publisher asked her to write a novel for children. That’s how she wrote „Little Women“ where she describes the four March sisters coming of age in New England at the time of the Civil War. The father serves as a preacher in the war, the girls are left alone with their loving mother. The five women live in poverty but try to make the best of it.
The story is very autobiographical. Lousia resembles Jo, who is a tomboy only interested in literature. The eldest sister Anna was the model for Meg, who is pretty and rather vain about that. Elizabeth is portrayed as the gentle Beth, she is the quiet and shy one who enjoys playing the piano. The equivalent of the youngest sister May is Amy, the little girl that often wants to be the center of the attraction. You can see the similarities even in the names: Elizabeth and Beth; May and Amy. „Little Women“ was followed by several other novels about the March family, such as: Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.

Little Women is very much a product of its time, didactic and moral-driven, with a focus on young women learning how to be the best they can possibly be. Each of the sisters has her unique share of flaws, but by the end each one has also learned how to handle her worst aspects and become the sort of woman who will make both her parents proud. Tomboyish Jo’s transition into a more respectable woman is the hardest one to witness, but fortunately there are still traces of that Jo in the Jo at the end. At times the focus on morality feels a bit heavy-handed, but by and large the novel’s charm easily makes up for those parts.

And this is a very charming novel. Witnessing the love that the sisters have for one another, for their parents, and for their neighbors Mr. Laurence and his grandson Laurie is heartwarming, as is their general mentality to make the most out of whatever unpleasant difficulties may be thrown their way.
As I mentioned above, their growth is primarily demonstrated through their ability to cope with their flaws. For Meg, that means she learns to become less vain. For Jo, that means she learns how to balance her male desires with her more feminine side. For Beth, that means she overcomes her timidity and accepts her importance within her family. For Amy, that means she becomes less bratty and more humble. Best of all, each sister’s growth is in many ways due to her sisters’ help.
( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is the type of book you would never get tired of reading no matter how much you do it is definitely a great book. ( )
  Shazarah | Feb 6, 2016 |
I hate this book. I hate hate hate hate hate this book. This book is INSIPID. This book makes me feel like I need a trip to the dentist after merely looking at the cover.

I hate this book.

I hate Jo, and her supposed tomboyishness, and the fact that she is the most flat, and dull, and stupid character I've ever come across. I hate Amy, because she's a vapid idiot who contributes nothing to the story. I hate Meg, even though I don't remember anything about her. I HATE Beth more than them all combined because she is so holy-holy, and meek, and perfect, and then she goes and dies (except in the versions where she doesn't) and everyone loves her even MORE afterwards.

Excuse me while I retch.

Why must this book be so vomitous? It even starts off in this fashion - let us give our dinner to the poor, because we are so wonderful! Fuck off. Just... fuck off. If there was ever such a saintly family, I hope I never meet them. My boyfriend's diabetic and we must watch his blood sugar levels... ( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (193 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louisa May Alcottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AlmineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cauti, CamilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danziger, PaulaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elberts, G.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyre, JustineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jambor, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May Lamberton Beckersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merlington, LauralNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vielhomme-Callais, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Go then, my little Book, and show all that entertain, and bid thee welcome shall, what thou dost keep close shut up in thy breast; and wish that thou dost show them may be blest to them for good, may make them choose to be pilgrims better, by far, than thee or me.
Tell them of Mercy; she is one who early hath her pilgrimage begun. Yea, let young damsels learn of her to prize the world which is to come, and so be wise; for little tripping maids may follow God along the ways which saintly feet have trod. - adapted from John Bunyan
Dedication
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Quotations
...for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride. (p75)
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty. (p82)
Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people, by being modest as well as pretty. (p110)
Money is a needful and precious thing, - and, when well used, a noble thing, - but I never want you to think it is the first and only prize to strive for. (p111)
Between Meg and Marmee:

"He's away all day, and at night when I want to see him, he is continually going over to the Scotts'. It isn't fair that I should have the hardest work, and never any amusement. Men are very selfish, even the best of them."
"So are women. Don't blame John till you see where you are wrong yourself." (Chapter 38, Gutenberg.org edition)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
This is the original Little Women that does NOT include the sequel Good Wives. Please do not combine editions of Little Women that contain the sequel.
ISBN 1613823444 is a Simon and Brown edition of Little Women.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
This is a heart-warming story about the four lively March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It tells of their adventures and struggles while growing up in the 19th century civil war era. This is a story of love, heart-ache, triumph and family. Although the four girls have very different personalities, they help each other grow as they experience life's challenges.
Haiku summary
Four different sisters
learn to overcome their faults.
They learn about love. (marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529308, Mass Market Paperback)

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:15 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 54 descriptions

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Audible.com

46 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105019, 0141321083, 0141331747, 0451532082, 0143106651

Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101255, 1400108608, 1400119227

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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