Little Women: Biography: Louisa May Alcott

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Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1832.  Her parents, Abba May and Bronson Alcott had four daughters of which she was the second.  Raised in Concord Massachusetts, Alcott was educated by her father who was a preacher and social reformer.  Because of her father, she encountered writers such as Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau.  While growing up, like the March sisters, she worked at sewing, teaching, domestic service, and writing to make money for her family.  In 1862, she began working as an army nurse for the Union during the Civil War.  From the experiences she had doing that, Alcott published her first successful book, Hospital Sketches (1863).  Between 1863 and 1869 she published several Gothic romances and thrillers under a different name.  In 1869, using stories from her life growing up with her three sisters, Alcott published Little Women.  The book brought her fame, money, and inspiration to continue her writing.  She went on to publish; An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870), Little Men (1871), Eight Cousins (1875), Rose in Bloom (1876), Jo's Boys (1886), and various childrens' books.  Alcott also published two adult novels: Moods (1865) and Work (1873).  She died in 1888 in Boston after spending the last decades of her life working towards women's suffrage and temperance. 

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