Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women


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Author: Reisen, Harriet

Edition: Reprint

Number Of Pages: 464

EAN: 9780312658878

Release Date: 26-10-2010

Languages: English

Item Condition: UsedGood

Binding: Paperback

Details: Product Description In Louisa May Alcott, the extraordinary woman behind the beloved American classic Little Women is revealed as never before. A fresh, modern take on the remarkable Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Reisen's vivid biography explores the author's life in the context of her works, many of which are to some extent autobiographical. Although Alcott secretly wrote pulp fiction, harbored radical abolitionist views, and served as a Civil War nurse, her novels went on to sell more copies than those of Herman Melville and Henry James. Stories and details culled from Alcott's journals, together with revealing letters to family, friends, and publishers, plus recollections of her famous contemporaries provide the basis for this lively account of the author's classic rags-to-riches tale--a perfect gift for fans of Little Women. Review “At last, Louisa May Alcott has the biography that admirers of Little Women might have hoped for.” ―The Wall Street Journal's Best 10 Books of the Year “A magnificent new biography . . . a classic.” ―The Washington Times “Fans will adore Harriet Reisen's sympathetic biography. . . .With charming verve, she details Alcott's remarkable if difficult life.” ―USA Today “Superb . . . punctuates the myths of the Alcott family, rendering Louisa May with nuance.” ―Chicago Tribune “A biography as vibrant as its subject.” ―Vogue “Reisen's lifelong fascination with Little Women and the woman who wrote it has produced an absorbing narrative, in many ways the best ever, of Alcott's own life. . . . The utterly compelling force of Alcott's personality has never been better described. I found the book compulsively readable; I couldn't put it down.” ―Robert Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire and Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind “Brilliantly researched. . . . Her biography will occupy an essential place on any Alcott bookshelf.” ―John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father “A beautifully written, significant, and fascinating work. Harriet Reisen does with this biography what Alcott did with her writing--gives us a memorable and inspiring gift full of humanity, heart, and soul.” ―Winona Ryder, producer and star of Little Women (1994) About the Author Harriet Reisen has written dramatic and historical scripts for PBS and HBO, including a recent PBS documentary on Louisa May Alcott. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. ONEFIT FOR THESCUFFLE OF THINGSShe has “a fine foundation for health and energy of character,” Bronson Alcott wrote to his father-in-law within hours of the birth of his second daughter on November 29, 1832. “[She] is a very fine healthful child, much more so than Anna was at birth.” He had wished for a boy, but he was linked to Louisa by a coincidence rarer than a common gender: “She was born at half-past 12 this morning on my birthday (33).”Although they shared a birthday, Louisa May Alcott and her father were born under different stars. From the first, Louisa displayed her mother’s moody, passionate temperament. She was an autumn hurricane arriving twenty months after Anna, a veritable March lamb, a paragon of a baby with her father’s calm temperament. Louisa’s version of her vexed beginnings matched her sense that life had been one long battle from the start. “On a dismal November day I found myself, & began my long fight,” she wrote on her twenty-third birthday. Her first fight would be for supremacy over her sister. Her mother would be her best ally.Abigail May Alcott’s family was a distinguished one, especially on her mother’s side. Dorothy Sewall May was the daughter of Samuel Sewall, the deacon of Old South Church, from whose steps Samuel Adams had signaled the start of the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The Sewalls were related to the Quincys and the Adamses; Abigail’s aunt Dorothy Quincy’s second marriage was to John Hancock. Born in

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