1 of 11 . Lousia May Alcott. Ryan Kelley, Jenna McLay, Steve Polack, Elyse Mastrostefano, Melanie Baer . 2 of 11 . Biography.
Louisa May Alcott, the second daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail "Abba" May was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She was homeschooled by her father for several years. She was taught the basics such as arithmetic, grammar, reading, writing, composition, history, and geography. Her father would also read stories to Louisa and her sister. She enjoyed listening to these and practiced writing her own.
She later attended Still River Village School, which was located in the family barn for a short time. Alcott also enjoyed going to Ralph Waldo Emerson's library to read up on lessons.
Her father pursued his teaching career by setting up the Temple Schoolbut was unable to guarantee his family a steady income. May’s father decided to move the family to Boston, Massachusettsin 1849. At this point, May was held responsible for earning money to keep her family stable. She went
everywhere searching for any job that
she possibly could to bring in income. She eventually started reading for an elderly man and sick sister.
She quit after realizing that she
wasn’t going to receive any pay for
Later on, her family found themselves in Concord, Massachusetts. She met some of her father’s “associates” who she associated directly with including the Emersons, Thoreaus, Hawthornes, and Ripleys. Louisa began to write stories at an early age to helpprovide for the family income. Her first book, Flower Fables, 1854, was written for Ellen Emerson, whose father she idolized. With all her hard work, Alcott found time to enjoy Boston Theater.
A veteran of amateur performances
at home and elsewhere, she loved the
stage and wrote for it. One of her
plays was accepted for presentation,
but circumstances prevented its
With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, Alcott was eager to do her part. She had long attended antislaverymeetingsand fairs. To contribute to the war effort, she worked for a hospital during the winters of 1862 and 1863. She is known to be a transcendentalist writer. The Transcendentalists can be understood in one sense by their context -- by what they were rebelling against, the current situation, and how they were trying to be different. She was a civil-war activist and put all of her effort this time in the war. It would later influence one of her greatest pieces of writing in later years.
After working in the hospital for a couple years, typhoidpneumonia soon forced her home. Her health was permanently damaged by the fever and by the calomel(miraculous chloride) that she was soon diagnosed with. After a gradual recovery she was able to write "Hospital Sketches“,in August of 1863.
During this time, she was working on a novel that would soon become one of her most notable works. Little Women, published September 30, 1868, was an instant success and sold more than 2,000 copies immediately. In fact the country was so taken with Louisa's story that her publisher begged for a second volume. The story revolves around the March sisters who lived and grew in post-Civil War America. Alcott's story of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy had launched her into stardom and helped to alleviate the family's financial problems.
Little Men was first published in 1871. The novel tells of characters from Little Women and is considered by some the second book of an unofficial Little Women trilogy. Little Men tells the story of Jo Bhaer and the children at Plumfield Estate School. The book was inspired by the death of Alcott's brother-in-law, which reveals itself in one of the last chapters, when a beloved
character from Little Women passes away. In 1888, she fell ill, and her final strength was
taken by caring for her father in his final days.
The date of her death was the same day of her
father's funeral. She was buried in Sleepy
Hollow cemetery in Concord.
Louisa May Alcott’s inspirations came from a lot of her childhood experiences. Because she was taught mostly by her father, he most likely had an impact on the way she wrote and thought. She was also an advocate of abolition, women's rights, and temperance. Her stories, novels, and poems helped to supporther family, and most have now been republished, widening her reputation beyond that of children's author and bringing freshcriticalnotice to her work. I believe she was also inspired by knowing she had to make the money to feed her
family. Louisa also spent a year in Europe where she was
very inspiredand wrote a lot of poems.
Louisa May Alcott is considered to be noteworthy in American Literature because she told stories from her ownlife. Since she lived her life in poverty she had a view point that was different from other authors to write stories about. She also lived a normal life. She was a nurse for the war and fought for women’s suffrage, which many other writers did not.
Alcott stands out from other authors because her writings have been translated in over fifty languages, and none of her eight books for young adults have been out of print, for example Little Women. She also stands out because of her different life that she has had than the rest of the authors. Her stories are very personal.