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Louisa May Alcott Educational Posters, Books, Links for Learning
for literature, language arts and social studies classrooms and homeschoolers.

literature > LOUISA MAY ALCOTT < women < social studies

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
b. 11-29-1832; Germantown, Pennsylvania
d. 4-6-1888; Boston (stroke)

Louisa May Alcott was the second of four daughters of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott.

Louisa’s father was a teacher with controversial methods which relied on involving the students in the learning process and a belief that children should enjoy learning. This lead to perpetual financial difficulties and the need Louisa felt to help support the family.

As a child she lived in a communal experiment called Fruitlands in Massachusetts and visited her father’s friends Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Louisa May Alcott wrote well over a dozen books, as well as many poems, stories, and essays. Her most famous book, Little Women, is a part of a series on the history of the March family (Little Men and Jo’s Boys) and like her heroine Jo March, Louisa was a tomboy. Her success as a writer meant financial security for her family.

Alcott also used her service as a Civil War nurse as background for her stories. Like many other nurses she contracted typhoid fever. Although she recovered from the fever, she suffered the poisoning effects of cure: doctors at the time used a drug containing mercury to cure typhoid.

Louisa May Alcott became involved in the women’s suffrage movement as well. She canvassed door to door to encourage women to register to vote and in 1879 became the first woman in Concord to register to vote in the village’s school committee election.

Louisa May Alcott died at age 56 and is buried in Concord, MA.

Celebrate Literature & Language Arts

Louisa May Alcott, Author of "Little Women," Seated at a Table, Photographic Print
Louisa May Alcott, Author of "Little Women," Seated
at a Table,
Photographic Print

Louisa May Alcott, American Writer, Photographic Print
Louisa May Alcott, American Writer, Photographic Print

Orchard House, Concord, MA Art Print
Orchard House,
Concord, MA
Art Print

• more Massachusetts posters

Little Women, Louise May Alcott, 1912 Edition Cover, Giclee Print
Little Women,
1912 Edition Cover,
Giclee Print

Little Women Movie Poster
Little Women
Movie Poster

Little Women was first published on September 30, 1868, selling more than 2,000 copies immediately.

• more book cover art prints

American Authors of the 19th Century - Louisa May Alcott
American Authors
of the 19th Century -
Louisa May Alcott

poster no
longer available

American Authors of the 19th Century -
Louisa May Alcott Wall Poster

“My lady...had yet to learn that money cannot buy refinement of nature, that rank does not always confer nobility, and that true breeding makes itself felt in spite of external drawbacks.”

When Louisa May Alcott wrote her first novel she was just 17 years old and was dreaming about becoming an actress! But the book, a gothic tale of romance titled The Inheritance, wasn't actually published until 1997. This novel led her to give up the idea of acting to pursue a successful career as a writer. Alcott is probably best known for her novel Little Women (1868). This well-known book tells the story of the March family which was actually based on Alcott's own family. The Alcotts were always in desperate need of money, and it was mostly to help her family financially that Alcott wrote, just as the character Jo writes stories for money in Little Women. When the famous novel became a success, Alcott revealed that the story, she .. it.the character Jo is Alcott herself, and Jo's sisters Amy, Beth, and Meg are modeled on Alcott's sisters, Meg, Elizabeth, and Anna. After the publication of Little Women, Alcott's writing was in great demand. Little Men, a sequel, was published in 1871, and her next to last book, .... was also based on the March family. Other successful Alcott books include An Old-Fashioned Girl, Eight Cousins, and A Garland for Girls. Throughout her life, Louisa May Alcott strongly supported the end of slavery, the fight for women's right to vote, and the temperance, or anti-drinking, movement. Born in 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, she continued to write till her death in 1888 at age 56.

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• “Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us - and those around us - more effectively. Look for the learning.”
• “Conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty.”
• “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
• “I like to help women help themselves, as that is, in my opinion, the best way to settle the woman question. Whatever we can do and do well we have a right to, and I don't think any one will deny us.”
• “I hate to think I've got to grow up, and be Miss March, and wear long gowns, and look as prim as a China-aster! It's bad enough to be a girl, anyway, when I like boys' games and work and manners!.
Louisa May Alcott

Books & video about and by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Little Women is one of the best-loved books of all time, as popular today as when it was written. Although it is a children’s book, it also appeals to grownups. The story is largely autobiographical, the March girls being Louisa’s own sisters, with herself as Jo.

Little Women- Video 1994 Gillian Armstrong, director.

Louisa May Alcott: Young Novelist (Childhood of Famous Americans) - Childhood of Famous Americans series, sixty-five years old in 1997, chronicles the early years of famous American men and women in an accessible manner. Each book is faithful in spirit to the values and experiences that influenced the person's development. History is fleshed out with fictionalized details, and conversations have been added to make the stories come alive to today’s reader, but every reasonable effort has been made to make the stories consistent with the events, ethics, and character of their subjects. 9-12 year olds reading level.

Civil War Women: The Civil War Seen Through Women’s Eyes in Stories by Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty... - Spellbinding stories by ten acclaimed writers.

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen - Stories and details culled from Alcott’s journals; her equally rich letters to family, friends, publishers, and admiring readers; and the correspondence, journals, and recollections of her family, friends, and famous contemporaries provide the basis for this lively account of the author’s classic rags-to-riches tale.

Louisa May Alcott: A Biography by Madeleine B. Stern - First published in 1950, this biography of Louisa May Alcott remains the standard work on the beloved American writer. The author, one of the world's leading Alcott scholars, shows how the breadth of Alcott's work, ranging from Little Women to sensational thrillers and war stories, serves as a reflection of a fascinating and complicated life dotted with poverty and riches alike, hard menial work, physical suffering relieved by opiates, and the acclaim of literary success.


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