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 Louisa May Alcott

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Louisa May Alcott

Author. She is best known as the author of the novel "Little Women", which was published in 1869. Born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, she grew up in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, where her father, A. Bronson Alcott, was a noted educator and leader of a philosophical movement called transcendentalism. Her family friends and neighbors included the writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry David Thoreau, and these figures helped her to form her ideas about politics and social reform. When she was young, she began work to help support the family as a seamstress, a household servant, and later, as a teacher. Her first book, "Flower Fables" (1854), was a series of fairy stories that she would make up to tell children. During the Civil War, she served as a nurse for the Union Army in 1862 to 1863, and would use that experience for her first successful book, "Hospital Sketches" (1863). Her first novel, "Moods" was published the next year, and in 1868, she became editor of "Merry's Museum," a magazine for young girls. She then used her life experiences to write "Little Women" which was initially published in two parts, in 1868 and 1869, which provided her with financial security. In this book, her family was represented by the 'March family', and the character of 'Jo March' representing her. She would continue the story of the March family in later books, "Little Men" (1871) and "Jo's Boys" (1886). She also wrote novels for adults, but these were not as successful as her children's stories. She died two days after her father as a result of mercury poisoning from a drug being used to treat her for typhoid.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Louisa May Alcott (29 Nov 1832–6 Mar 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14, citing Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .