Louisa May Alcott biography

Louisa May Alcott

Novelist, Author

1832 – 1888


Who was Louisa May Alcott?

Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist best known as author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. Nevertheless, her family suffered severe financial difficulties and Alcott worked to help support the family from an early age. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard.

Published in 1868, Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts and is loosely based on Alcott's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novel was very well received and is still a popular children's novel today. Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. She died in Boston.

Famous Quotes:

  • People don't have fortunes left them in that style nowadays; men have to work and women to marry for money. It's a dreadfully unjust world.
  • Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
  • Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.
  • What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?
  • Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it.
  • Housekeeping ain't no joke.
  • I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship.
  • It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.
  • It takes two flints to make a fire.
  • Stay is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary.


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Nov 29, 1832
Also known as
  • Louisa Alcott
  • May Louisa Alcott
  • Louisa M Alcott
  • Louisa M. Alcott
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Concord
Mar 6, 1888

on July 23, 2013

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