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Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888)

Nationality: American Periods: American: 1865-1900

American novelist, author of Little Women

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Our pages on these individual works by Louisa May Alcott

The Brothers

Collected Stories of Louise May Alcott

Little Women

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Criticism about Louisa May Alcott

The Struggle Between Sentiment and Sensation in the Writings of Louisa May Alcott
” Louisa May Alcott, beloved author of children’s fiction, wrote a series of thrillers or sensationalist stories before her success with the domestic novel, or the novel of sentiment, Little Women, in 1868. Her “juvenile stories emphasize self-sacrifice and devotion to duty” (Bedell 8); whereas, Alcott’s thrillers examine the darker side of human nature and criticize the Victorian ideal of femininity as unrealistic and false. Her subversive sensational stories not only defied nineteenth-century values of womanhood, but also rebelled against the teachings of her father, Bronson Alcott, who believed in traditional “femininity” and sentimentalism, in a search for human perfectionism.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Margaret Strickland
Transcendental Actress: Louisa May Alcott and the Roles of a Lifetime
” I add my voice to the ongoing re-evaluation of Alcott as a writer by studying four of her lesser-known gothic stories, her frequently overlookedroman � clef, “Transcendental Wild Oats,” (1873) and Little Women. If, as Elaine Showalter asserts, “The appropriate task for feminist criticism . . . is to concentrate on women’s access to language”(qtd. in Lodge 341), then what can a study of Alcott’s hidden ”language,” in stories society was unaware of for decades, in addition to those hidden discourses that are under the surface of more well-known works, do for feminist criticism? It is my hope that this study can help to illuminate yet another woman writer who persevered despite overwhelming odds, the feeling that her own writing lacked legitimacy, and the suspicion that the things she did gain her name for creating lacked truth and passion. “
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Kim Wells

Biographical sites about Louisa May Alcott

I Hear America Singing
Biographical page of Alcott and her parents.
Contains: Extensive Bio, Pictures
Author: Thomas Hampson

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013