The Annotated Little Women
When I asked what books every woman's gotta read, Alcott's 1869 novel about New England sisters growing up in the Civil War Era was an overwhelming crowd favorite. I only recently learned that Alcott herself didn't want to write <em>Little Women</em>: when a publisher asked her to write a book for girls, she put aside the thrillers she'd been writing and wrote about the only girls she knew— her sisters. The book's unexpected success changed her life and literary career.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Louisa May Alcott illuminates the world of Little Women and its author.
Since its publication in 1868–69, Little Women, perhaps America’s most beloved children’s classic, has been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. It has been translated into more than fifty languages and inspired six films, four television shows, a Broadway musical, an opera, and a web series. This lavish, four-color edition features over 220 curated illustrations, including stills from the films, stunning art by Norman Rockwell, and iconic illustrations by children’s-book illustrators Alice Barber Stevens, Frank T. Merrill, and Jessie Wilcox Smith.
Renowned Alcott scholar John Matteson brings his expertise to the book, to the March family it creates, and to the Alcott family who inspired it all. Through numerous photographs taken in the Alcott family home expressly for this edition―elder daughter Anna’s wedding dress, the Alcott sisters’ theater costumes, sister May’s art, and Abba Alcott’s recipe book―readers discover the extraordinary links between the real and the fictional family.
Matteson’s annotations evoke the once-used objects and culture of a distant but still-relevant time, from the horse-drawn carriages to the art Alcott carefully placed in her story to references to persons little known today. His brilliant introductory essays examine Little Women’s pivotal place in children’s literature and tell the story of Alcott herself―a tale every bit as captivating as her fiction.
Full color, 233 illustrations