Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
An Annotated Edition

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Little Women has delighted and instructed readers for generations. For many, it is a favorite book first encountered in childhood or adolescence. Championed by Gertrude Stein, Simone de Beauvoir, Theodore Roosevelt, and J. K. Rowling, it is however much more than the “girls’ book” intended by Alcott’s first publisher. In this richly annotated, illustrated edition, Daniel Shealy illuminates the novel’s deep engagement with issues such as social equality, reform movements, the Civil War, friendship, love, loss, and of course the passage into adulthood.

The editor provides running commentary on biographical contexts (Did Alcott, like Jo, have a “mood pillow”?), social and historical contexts (When may a lady properly decline a gentleman’s invitation to dance?), literary allusions (Who is Mrs. Malaprop?), and words likely to cause difficulty to modern readers (What is a velvet snood? A pickled lime?). With Shealy as a guide, we appreciate anew the confusions and difficulties that beset the March sisters as they overcome their burdens and journey toward maturity and adulthood: beautiful, domestic-minded Meg, doomed and forever childlike Beth, selfish Amy, and irrepressible Jo. This edition examines the novel’s central question: How does one grow up well?

Little Women: An Annotated Edition offers something for everyone. It will delight both new and returning readers, young and old, male and female alike, who will want to own and treasure this beautiful edition full of color illustrations and photographs.


About Louisa May Alcott

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Daniel Shealy has edited or co-edited eleven books about Louisa May Alcott, including The Journals of Louisa May Alcott. He is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Published January 1, 1989 by Penguin Classic. 544 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, History, Education & Reference, Romance, Action & Adventure, Humor & Entertainment, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Little Women

The Times of India

This is the story of a young girl called Emily who has been given an assignment in school where she has to pick her favourite story and then change it around.

Aug 06 2013 | Read Full Review of Little Women: An Annotated Ed...

Shealy (English, Univ. of North Carolina; ed., Alcott in Her Own Time) uses Little Women's first edition (1868–69) for this heavily illustrated and annotated volume rather than the more prevalent amended version from the 1880s. His annotations are a means to further engage the lay reader as he gr...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Little Women: An Annotated Ed...

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