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Little Women is the classic coming-of-age tale of four sisters on their journey to adulthood. Though today it’s considered a classic, Little Women almost wasn’t written: Alcott wanted to publish a collection of short stories instead, but her publisher and her father pressed her to write a book that would appeal to a wide audience of young girls.
The first volume was written quickly and published in 1868; it was a huge success, and Alcott composed volume 2 just as quickly and published it in 1869. By her own account she didn’t enjoy writing them, and both she and her publisher agreed the first few chapters were dull—it almost goes without saying they were pleasantly shocked at the positive reception the volumes received.
By 1927 it had been acknowledged as one of the most widely-read novels of the era, and remains widely read today.
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About Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Raised in New England by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott, she grew up among many well-known intellectuals of the day, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.