Louisa May Alcott November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888
About Louisa & Her Family • Louisa was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second eldest of four. She had three sisters, Anna Bronson Alcott, the eldest, Elizabeth Sewall Alcott, the second youngest, and Abigail May Alcott the youngest, who was named after he mother. Louisa's father was a transcendentalist and teacher; his name was Amos Bronson Alcott. She shared a birthday with her father on November 29, 1832 and was born on his 33rdBirthday. After moving around a lot, on April 1st 1845, the family finally settled into a home that they called “Hillside”.
Jobs, Education & Beliefs • Louisa and her sisters were homeschooled, and received most of their schooling from their father, Amos, and family friends, like Ralph Waldo Emerson. When Louisa was young, because of the Civil War, Louisa worked as a teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, as well as being a writer. For six weeks in 1862 to 1863 she also served as a nurse in the Union Hospital at Georgetown. As well as having these occupations, Louisa was also an abolitionist (which means she wanted to put an end to slavery) and a feminist. As a result of these beliefs Louisa was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, and it was for a school board election.
Books • Louisa wrote her first book, “Flower Fables” when she was 17, and it was published when she was 22. It was a selection of stories that she had originally written for Ellen Emerson, who was the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a friend of her fathers. As well as having written “Little Women” , which was published by the Roberts Brothers in 1868, she has also written it’s sequels, “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys”. Some of her not so famous work includes “Rose in Bloom”, “Eight Cousins” and “Lulu's Library”, as well as many more.
Writing Little Women • Louisa’s most well known books are“Little Women” and it’s sequels “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys”. “Little Women” is based on Louisa’s experiences with her three sisters. Louisa based the main character/heroine, Jo on herselfand although Jo marries at the end of the story Louisa remained single throughout her entire life, not marrying once. However Louisa based the character Laurie on her former love, Ladislas Wisniewski.
Later Life • When Louisa’s youngest sister, Abigail died in 1879, Louisa took in her daughter, Louisa May Nieriker who had been named after Lousia May Alcott herself, and was nicknamed Lulu. Louisa started raising Lulu when she was a mere two years old. Lousia never lost her talent and love of writing and continued to write until she died. Even suffering from terrible health issues in her later years, she never stopped doing what she loved. She died of a stroke when she was 55 years old, on the 6th of March 1888, only two days after her father, Amos, had died.
Lousia May Text. (2004) Louisa May Alcott. Available from:http://www.louisamayalcott.org/louisamaytext.html[June 8th 2011] Wikipedia. (2011). Louisa May Alcott. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisa_May_Alcott[June 8th 2011] BIBLIOGRAPHY
By Matilda Alexander 7B Little Women Matrix- Researching the author, Louisa May Alcott, and writing a biography of her.