Little Women is an outstanding achievement of nineteenth-century American literature, and the first children's novel written in the United States to have become an enduring classic. The March girls are shown throughout as real people and not mere moral examples as we follow them from childhood through Little Women and Little Women Part Two (known in Europe as Good Wives). The portrayal of the strains and delights of family life is unsurpassed in literature of the time, and has a telling message for the modern world.
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I must have read Little Women 10-20 times as a child and cried every time I read it. The relationship between the sisters is so touching. It wasn't until much later that I made the connection with the Civil War, and reading it as an adult made the story even richer. This book is a wonderful read aloud to middle school and high school students studying the Civil War time period. I highly recommend reading the book before watching the movie. The movie is great, but cannot begin to touch the emotions portrayed in the book! The other works of Alcott as also as touching. I loved Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom almost as much as Little Women!
If you're an Alcott fan, as I am, this volume will be a delight. I've read LITTLE WOMEN since childhood (all the way back to when I complained to my mother when I found out I read an abridged edition--I wanted the whole story!) and, by dint of further reading, found out many of the historical background items for this book, but this collects all of them in a super package, from the many references to Bunyan's PILGRIM"S PROGRESS, to how book events paralleled the Alcotts' real lives, to definitions of familiar objects and terms in the 19th century that have since disappeared, like a charabanc, pickled limes (which, BTW, sound disgusting!), and "trumps." (I did find it a bit sad that the author needed to translate several words that I found commonplace; is it really necessary today to tell someone that "sober" means "solemn," for instance?) Other than the fact that a couple of the annotations struck me as incorrect or odd, and that one illustration was mislabeled, this is thoroughly...
Don't be fooled by the cover - it doesn't begin to tell the story. This is a gorgeous oversized edition (measuring 9" x 10" x 2") with an elegant choice of typefaces, filled with color plates, letters written by Louisa and her publisher Thomas Niles and commentary on each page which enhances the reading experience. Shealy introduces the book with an interesting essay about the extensive revisions made to the text between its original publication in 1868 and the revised version in the 1880s. In many respects the revisions were a response to negative criticism about the slang Alcott used throughout the book being a poor example for children! Fortunately Shealy uses the original text which is more vibrant and real. A second essay includes photos of each of the main players from the Alcott family. Alcott drew from the deep well of her personal life to bring Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Marmee and Laurie to life. Shealy includes analysis of the era, fascinating anecdotes and great trivia. If you...
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