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Library of America Louisa May Alcott Edition

Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys (LOA #156) by Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott: Work, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, Stories & Other Writings  (LOA #256) by Louisa May Alcott

Library of America Louisa May Alcott Edition : Titles in Order

Book 2
This unique collection includes pioneering feminist novels, rare stories, restored drawings, and hard-to-find writings from the author of Little Women
 
After the success of her beloved masterpiece Little Women, Louisa May Alcott brought her genius for characterization and eye for detail to a series of revolutionary novels and stories that are remarkable in their forthright assertion of women’s rights. This second volume of The Library of America’s Alcott edition gathers these works for the first time, revealing a fascinating and inspiring dimension of a classic American writer.
 
The first of a trio of novels written over a fruitful three-year period, Work: A Story of Experience has been called the adult Little Women. It follows the semi-autobiographical story of an orphan named Christie Devon, who, having turned twenty-one, announces “a new Declaration of Independence” and leaves her uncle’s house in order to pursue economic self-sufficiency and to find fulfillment in her profession. Against the backdrop of the Civil War years, Christie works as a servant, actress, governess, companion, seamstress, and army nurse—all jobs that Alcott knew from personal experience—exposing the often insidious ways in which the employments conventionally available to women constrain their self-determination. Alcott’s most overtly feminist novel, Work breaks new ground in the literary representation of women, as its heroine pushes at the boundaries of nineteenth-century expectations and assumptions.
 
Eight Cousins concerns the education of Rose Campbell, another orphan who, in her delicate nature and frail health, seems to embody many of the stereotypes of girlhood that shaped Alcott’s world. But with the benefit of an unorthodox, progressive education and the good and bad examples of her many crisply drawn relations— especially her seven boy cousins—Rose regains her health and envisions a career both as a wife and mother and as a philanthropist. She insists that she will manage her own fortune rather than find a husband to do it for her in the sequel, Rose in Bloom.
 
This Library of America edition includes several noteworthy features. All three novels are presented with beautifully restored line art from the original editions and are supplemented by seven hard-to-find stories and public letters (two restored to print for the first time in more than a century), an authoritative chronology of Alcott’s life, and notes identifying her allusions, quotations, and the autobiographical episodes in her fiction.
Book 1
The beloved March family trilogy—presented in one “single, beautifully crafted volume” featuring original illustrations (John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)
 
From the incidents of her own remarkable childhood, Louisa May Alcott fashioned a trilogy of novels that catapulted her to fame and fortune and that remain among the most beloved works in all of American literature. Here, in an authoritative single-volume edition restoring Alcott’s original text as well as her sister May (the original of Amy)’s illustrations, is the complete series.
 
Set in a small New England town during the Civil War and Reconstruction, Little Women introduces Alcott’s remarkable heroines, the March sisters—above all, her alter ego Jo March, with her literary ambition and independent spirit. The follow-up, Little Men, follows Jo into adulthood and marriage as she finds herself the caretaker of a houseful of rambunctious children at Plumfield School. Jo’s Boys returns to Plumfield a decade later; now grown, Jo’s children recount adventures of their own.
 
At once heartwarming and true to life, Alcott’s novels will continue to win over readers both young and old, as they have for generations.
 
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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