It’s back to my childhood and back to a 19th century lady with L. Today it is Louisa May Alcott. If you didn’t read her Little Women series in your childhood it’s not too late to pick up a copy. Make sure you save it for your daughter too. If you do not have daughters well then you can just skip this one for here’s one author who is pretty much a girl thing.
I started reading her in school and they had the right amount of gyan to appeal to the Irish nuns who ran our school and yet had that tiny dash of very 'propah' romance to keep me glued.
Louisa Alcott's life was ‘Little Women’
She was the second of four sisters born to an educationist father and a social worker mother. She was taught by her father and his intellectual friends who included writers and educators like Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau.
The family went through a rough patch when all the sisters had to take up work to support the family finances. Louisa worked as a teacher, a seamstress, governess, a writer and a domestic helper... a lot like the girls in Little Women.
She started off writing passionate books for adults that told dramatic stories of revenge (the ones I never got to read). And of course there were her books for kids. Once her kids’ book became popular she never returned to adult writing.
|A scene from her book Little Women|
Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys formed a perfect series. I also read a set of two - Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom.
A lot of Louisa’s family values spilled into her books. Principles like ‘Plain living high thinking’, inculcating good habits, dignity of labour -- all formed a conservatively perfect mix for young girls.
Louisa and Jo
Louisa modeled Jo after herself in Little Women. She had Jo’s rebellious streak. Jo turned writer, just like her. Also, she shared a rivalry with her youngest sister quite like Jo and Amy in the book. However when her sister passed away at childbirth she took in her daughter, also called Louisa, and cared for her till she herself passed away.
Unlike Jo, who gets married, Alcott remained a spinster all her life. Remarking on her spinsterhood she says, “I am more than half persuaded that I am a man’s soul put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body… because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”
Did you have a favourite sister from among Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy?
And now for tomorrow's clue. Oh I enjoy this bit tremendously. So tomorrow's author is a man, a very witty one. His most well know book has a young protagonist who shares his initials with me.. hee hee! Well it's my blog, I get to behave like a megalomaniac here once in a while.
This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.
Labels: Amazing Authors, April A to Z Challenge, Books, Louisa Alcott, reading