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The Quiet Little Woman: Tilly's Christmas,…

The Quiet Little Woman: Tilly's Christmas, Rosa's Tale : Three Enchanting… (edition 1999)

by Louisa May Alcott (Author)

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6651028,801 (3.48)8
Three Christmas stories from old children's magazines that recapture the atmosphere of Louisa May Alcott's work.
Title:The Quiet Little Woman: Tilly's Christmas, Rosa's Tale : Three Enchanting Christmas Stories
Authors:Louisa May Alcott (Author)
Info:Honor Books (1999), Edition: Illustrated., 122 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Quiet Little Woman, Tilly's Christmas, Rosa's Tale: Three Enchanting Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott


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I was not previously aware of the existence of many of Louisa May Alcott's writings outside Little Women and its first two sequels. This story collection sits in an uncomfortable zone today: it requires a long attention span, but has themes which are of most interest to younger audiences. "Tilly's Story" is a nice Christmas tale that may work with third graders. ( )
  KSchellVT | Dec 9, 2021 |
Interesting little book of 3 Holiday stories by Louisa May Alcott that were published in a fairly small-run literary journal of some period fans of hers that were unknown to the modern publishing world and discovered and published in 1999. Fairly simple predictable happy-ending Alcott children's pieces that glide along very quickly. Never meant for a huge audience, they are nonetheless fun to experience. ( )
  jeffome | Dec 29, 2016 |
I got this maybe ten years ago and had never read it, but it was quick and enjoyable, a sweet holiday read. All three stories wrapped up too quickly, I felt, as all morality tales tend to do, but as someone who's always been interested in Alcott, it was still interesting to me. I'd definitely check it out if you're interested in her or the period. Or the holiday! ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
3.0 star for the book. Plus 0.5 star for the charm of the physical book and its illustrations.

This is a book of 3 short stories that Ms. Alcott wrote in the 1870s for the 5 Lukens sisters who were her ardent fans. The admiration went both ways as these sisters, inspired by the “Little Women” Sisters, also launched their own publication which grew to a circulation with a 1,000 subscribers!

The 3 stories themselves were adequately delightful given its brevity. “The Quiet Little Woman” is an orphan waiting for adoption and what happens during her first Christmas afterwards – being an earnest worker and the rewards will reveal itself. “Tilly’s Christmas” is a lovely story about a little girl’s love and tenderness returned to her in kind. “Rosa’s Tale” shares a horse’s life story – somewhat contrived but I’m sure children will enjoy it.

The book further had an introduction, editor’s notes, and a description of the author. All were well worth reading.

One quote – not from any of the stories, but a poem from the publication of the Lukens sisters!

“A spider is a little thing,
But once a spider saved a king,
The little bees are wiser far
Then buffaloes or lions are…
A little pen may write a word
By which a nation shall be stirred.
A little money, wisely spent,
A world of sorrow may prevent,
A little counsel, rightly given,
May lift a sinful soul to Heaven…
A little fault, if left to grow,
An emperor may overthrow,
A little word but spoke in jest,
May rob your neighbor of his rest,
A little selfishness and pride
The kindest household may divide.
Little vices may times
Out-Herod felonies and crimes,
And little virtues in the sum
Great excellencies do become.” ( )
1 vote varwenea | Jun 17, 2014 |
Some young sisters embarked on a plan to produce an in-house publication like their heroines, the March sisters from Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. They wrote to their favorite author to tell her of the scheme and Alcott responded by sending them these three stories free of charge to include in their publication. The three stories all take place around Christmastime and follow similar themes about charity, generosity, hard work, and optimism.

In the first story ("The Quiet Little Woman"), a young teenaged orphanage dreams of a place to fit in and be treated like a member of the family. The second story ("Tilly's Christmas") is about a poor young girl and her mother dreaming of having a little something special to share on Christmas Day. The final story ("Rosa's Tale") concerns a horse who is able to tell her story at last on Christmas Eve when the clock strikes midnight.

When I was a pre-teen, I loved Alcott and devoured many of her books after being introduced to Little Women. However, that phase ended when I seemed to run out of new titles to explore and so I hadn't returned to Alcott until now, several decades later, when my mother stumbled upon this book and passed it on to me. It felt strange coming back to Alcott after all this time and finding stories so like her others, only now having an adult perspective with which to look upon them. In the first two stories, Alcott is ever the moralist who shows a world that is not without misery but one that will result in relative happiness if the protagonist would only be good enough. It gave me the same feeling I had when I re-visited A Little Princess again as an adult and thought how nice it must be to live in a world where the hard-working are rewarded and the wicked receive their come-uppance. In these first two stories, Alcott doesn't bother with having the truly wicked but rather people who are just oblivious and need only a word or two to remind them to think of others.

The third story arguably had a similar moral tale, but I felt like the whole talking horse bit was a little ridiculous. While the book was overall a very quick read as it was really rather short, this story seemed to drag a little for me. This story also seemed the most geared to young children readers with the inclusion of magic and talking animals. However, the stories in this collection are all a bit of a funny combination of serious adult problems (poverty being the primary one) told in simple declarative language better suited for children. The happy endings, while not the over-the-top fairy tale ending of marrying a prince, might warrant a sigh and a "if only" type attitude from a jaded adult whereas a child might take the morality tale to heart and think if they were only good enough, wonderful things will be in store for them.

All in all, the first two stories were a nice distraction from the problems of the world and a happy return to childhood (relative) innocence. The last one was just sort of cheesy for me, although I could see a young child finding it particularly charming. I'd recommend this book for children who enjoy such morality tales and to adults who need a little bit of uplifting literature in their life. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Feb 2, 2014 |
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Patty stood at the window looking thoughtfully down at a group of girls playing in the yard below.
Introduction: I like to help women help themselves, as that is, in my opinion, the best way to settle the 'woman' question.
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Three Christmas stories from old children's magazines that recapture the atmosphere of Louisa May Alcott's work.

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