Thursday, 4 August 2011

Alcott, Louisa May "Little Women" Series

Alcott, Louisa May “Little Women” - 1868
Alcott, Louisa May “Good Wives  - 1869
Alcott, Louisa May “Little Men” - 1871
Alcott, Louisa May “Jo's Boys” - 1886


Alcott, Louisa May “Little Women” - 1868
This was one of the first books I read in English. I loved it. I love classics and this one is one that brings you right back into that time.

The description of the March girls and their lives is just fabulous. You feel like you've almost been there with them, shared with them in their problems and dreams.

Granted, nowadays the characters would have been very different, but that is the beauty of reading something from days gone by. The relations not only between the sisters and their friends and relatives but especially to their parents were very different as different things were expected from them. The March family was probably an exception to the rule as the girls were encouraged to do whatever they wanted to. And the parents had a very different opinion about education at the time, even very modern compared to a lot of systems nowadays. Another reason to love this book.

Alcott, Louisa May “Good Wives” - 1869
In the States, this is now published just as the second part of “Little Women” but Louisa May Alcott wrote this as a separate book, so I will comment on it separately.

I thought this sequel was just as superb as the first one. The girls growing up, having different kind of problems as before, falling in love, carrying on the path their parents prepared. Coping with a lot of hardships, death, separation, misunderstandings. You just want to be there with them and for them.

Alcott, Louisa May “Little Men” - 1871
The third of the four “Little Women” books. The girls are all grown up and have children of their own. Jo opens her school in Plumfield, together with her husband Friedrich Bhaer. New characters are added, old ones disappear and Jo and Friedrich have to struggle and fight for their boys quite a few times. But they manage this all with the grace you expect from the March girls. Very nice read.

Alcott, Louisa May “Jo's Boys” - 1886
The last “Little Women” novel.
Now the boys have all grown up. Most of the characters from “Little Men” have left the school but they still keep returning to Plumfield bringing a lot of upheaval and uproar with them.
It is amazing how fascinating Louisa May Alcott's novels are - even more than 120 years after first being published.

Another book by Louisa May Alcott: "Eight Cousins".
If you want to know more about Mr. March, the "Little Women's" father, read "March" by Geraldine Brooks.

2 comments:

  1. People who like Louisa Alcott may try to read in comparison a British author: Charlotte Mary Yonge "The Daisy Chain". Yonge's life story was rather similar to Alcott's, and some think that Ethel May, the central figure in the "Daisy Chain" (1856), may have been a model for Jo March (1868).
    But within these similarities we can observe the differences between a British/High Church view of life and its American/Unitarian counterpart.

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    1. Thank you, Rainer, that sounds very interesting. I have lived in England and love anything British, so I will surely find a copy of this book.

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