‘Little Women’ is one of my favorite books and listed in many top ten lists on my blog. I loved it so much I went looking for Little Men and Jo’s Boys in our school library and read them as well. I looked for the other books she wrote as well but unfortunately did not find them as a kid. I am hoping to find them now and read them with my daughter. Over the summer last year, I started reading the book with my daughter, each of us taking turns to read different sections of the book and playing parts, just like the ‘Little Women‘ themselves do as they enact Jo’s plays.
My favorite Alcott quote is of course: “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
A few favorite quotes from the book and a couple of interesting facts about the book and its author are what I have for you today.
Quotes I mentioned on my blog before:
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty.”
“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
Alcott did not initially want to write the book but when her father was also promised a publishing contract, she agreed and wrote what would be ‘Little Women’ (the first part) in about ten weeks time!
The book was originally published in two parts. The first part was ‘Little Women: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The Story Of Their Lives. A Girl’s Book’ – and was published in 1868 and ended with Meg’s proposal from John Brooke. The second half ‘Good Wives’ was published in 1869, again written in only took a few months.
The original ‘Little Women’ are Alcott and her sisters. Alcott based the characters on her family. Jo was based on, well, herself!
Alcott wrote in her journal that – “Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only aim and end of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.” -and that is what did happen! Jo did not marry Laurie, disappointing many fans and still a subject of many discussions by current-day fans 🙂
Alcott had a lot of major literary influence growing up – Emerson and Thoreau were among her father’s friends.
Alcott had been writing and publishing since 1851, first under the pseudonym of Flora Fairfield, and then under the name A.M. Barnard, and finally started writing under her own name. Some of her early stories had names like ‘Pauline’s Passion and Punishment’!
You can visit the Alcott family home – Orchard House – even today.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the book and we can expect and look forward to many things ‘Little Women’ – books, different versions of the book, movies, TV Series, and more!
“I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end. (Jo March)”
This post goes towards ABC Wednesday‘s round 22 – letter L (my theme for ABC Wednesday’s Round 22 is children’s books – I will pick one popular (and sometimes the not so popular/the unknown) book – classic/modern/old/new… – and write about it – be it a backstory or facts or something else completely
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