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Well I want this desperately now. That first paragraph entranced me too. Danielle you always do this to me! I have too many books on the TBR pile as it is!!!


Only tangentially related, but one of those books I loved so much I have to recommend it when I get the chance, Old Books, Rare Friends by Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern. It's their sort of joint autobiography, and it's fabulous in a bookish, historical, and biographical kind of way. They were the first to discover all the stories Lousia May Alcott wrote for magazines under a pseudonym, which they talk about in the book.

I think I, too, read Little Women slightly too late for best effect, but I am very fond of it. That biography's going to have to go on my ever-growing and rarely-shortening list of things to read.


I had the abridged, Whitman version of LITTLE WOMEN as a child, and was indignant to find out someone had EDITED the book. Oddly, as a girl I could never get past chapter 6. Once Meg started getting gooey over Mr. Brooke, I got bored. I read it in full only as a teen. If you want to read more about Bronson, I would suggest EDEN'S OUTCASTS. He was an innovative teacher, but I'm afraid I found him a bad husband and father.


Rachel--I can't help myself! :) After I read that paragraph I knew I had to read this book. Maybe your library will have it? My TBR pile is a little too big, too, but I can't help myself sometimes.
Anna--Thanks for the heads up. I will look for that book--it sounds good. Imagine LMA's adult stoties being "lost" to modern readers. Apparently there are still more out there that are known to have been published, but have disappeared or been lost. Hopefully someday someone will find them, though I have plenty to keep me busy now with her other work. I'm going to have to try and get my niece to read Little Women, so she doesn't miss out on the opportunity when she's so young!
Linda--Bronson did sound like quite an innovator, but I had a feeling that he might lack in other areas--I've just started reading about Louisa as a young girl and it sounds like he wasn't always around. I have added Eden's Outcasts to my wishlist.

Dorothy W.

I was so close to visiting the Alcott house when I was in Concord a couple weeks back, but we didn't quite make it. We'll be back though, and Orchard house will definitely be on the itinerary. At least I got to see the town she lived in! I loved Alcott as a child, and I'd enjoy reading a biography of her, I'm sure.


Ooh this sounds so good! I have to go and see if it's available in the UK!


Wow - this sounds fascinating - I loved LMA as a child and it's so interesting to learn more about the author.


This sounds like a fun book. I know from my reading about Emerson that he and Bronson were friends and Emerson often helped him out of financial scrapes. Louisa also supposedly had a little crush on Emerson when she was a girl.


I just had to chime in; Little Women is definitely a childhood favorite. I read it first in 5th grade, and again and again stretching into adulthood. I remember seeing the 1949 movie w/ June Allyson, who because she was Jo, was a favorite actress for years and years. I love LMA's quote, "She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain."


Little Women is one of my childhood favorites, too. But as good as Little Women is, for me, L. M. Montgomery's Anne and Emily books beat it. :)



I have always enjoyed LMA's books and Joe is one of my all time fav. female fictional characters. Your review has made me want to read this book. I am also curious about the movie - has it been released?


Dorothy--I'm really enjoying the book and am looking forward to the documentary. I believe I read a lot of it was filmed in Orchard House, so I'll get to see it at least on TV. I would love to visit there--you're so close you'll have to go sometime. It's cool being so close to so many historical sites. My sister used to live in DC and now lives in Virginia, so when I've visited we've gone to lots of places--which I love!
Litlove--I hope it's being published in the UK soon, too! I always hate hearing about books that aren't yet released here! I'm really enjoying it and think I must read more biographies now.
Verity--I love reading about authors, too, whose books I love. It always sheds a different light on their works.
Stefanie--Emerson has already been mentioned--he preferred to go by Waldo rather than Ralph! I'll be curious to read more and see what other famous people are mentioned. With every new name I add another person to my list that I need to learn more about! I've not read any Emerson since high school and you're posts have always made me want to read more of him, too.
Lindymc--Oh, I should have known that was her quote. I've heard it before and thought it was great! I have books that I read over and over again, too. I've not seen the June Allyson version--just the Winona Ryder one. I will have to check out the earlier one sometime. Somehow it seems like a perfect holiday movie, too.
Tiina--I missed so many children's classics when I was growing up. I was left to my own devices when it came to books--I read lots just not the classics. I never did read LM Montgomery and have always meant to try her work now. I think I would enjoy it, too.
Vipula--Jo is a wonderful character, isn't she? I think Jo must be LMA fictionalized. The documentary is going to be on PBS in December and then I'm sure it will be released in DVD shortly after. I've read it's 90 minutes. You can read about it on the PBS website. I'm really looking forward to it as I'll be on break from work!


Jo is definitely LMA's alter ego.


I know, I love that Emerson preferred to be called Waldo. I am very glad of it too because Waldo is such a better name for my cat than Ralph would be ;)


LindaY--And Jo is such a likable character, too!
Stefanie--Waldo is definitely a cooler name! I love picking up all these little tidbits in my reading!


Wow, that is a breathtaking passage about the transcendental power of books!

I have actually only ever read one of LMA's books she wrote under a pseudonym - A Long Fatal Love Chase. But I can relate to how the author felt about LW, it's reminiscent of my own reaction to Anne of Green Gables.


Lesley--Isn't that a great quote. I love the kind that you get so wrapped up in you forget you're even reading! I also read A long Fatal Love Chase, but it was years and years ago, so I remember nothing about it. I think I even have it in hardcover! It's nice when a child is introduced to books that way and finds them so absorbing. The right book for the right reader at the right time!


I went through a huge LMA phase when I was in about eighth grade, and read most of her books then. Cornelia Meigs (?) wrote a YA biography of her called Invincible Louisa that won the Newbery decades ago. It might be good for those wanting something shorter about her.


Rebecca--You know YA nonfiction books can be great places to start on a topic. They are nice and general and give a good taste on a subject without getting lost with too many details. Thanks for the heads up--I might check it out myself. I'd like to try and get ahold of some of her books for adults--I know I have one or two on hand somewhere. My niece is finally old enough-so I think I will have to give her some of her books for Christmas!


Another one for the wish list. This sounds excellent. I reread Little Women about 4-5 yrs ago with my bookclub. It wasn't as satisfying a read, I thought, as an adult. Having said that, I'm still fascinated by LMA and her life.


Tara--I think I would have appreciated the book more as a young person, but I did enjoy it when I read it in full as an adult. Only there were some parts that verged on the preachy, which I think I could have passed on. Still an entertaining read. Her biography is interesting and I'd like to read some of her work written for adults now.

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