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Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys (Library of America) [Hardcover]

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Item Number 261905  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   1092
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 17, 2005
Publisher   Library of America
Age  18
ISBN  1931082731  
EAN  9781931082730  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
A single-volume edition of Alcott's classic "Little Women" trilogy is complemented by the stories' original first-edition illustrations, some of which where drawn by the author's sister May, who inspired the character of Amy.

Publishers Description
Here, in one authoritative Library of America volume, are all three of the beloved "Little Woman books as Louisa May Alcott wrote them, with original engravings.

Buy Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys (Library of America) by Louisa May Alcott & Elaine Showalter from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781931082730 & 1931082731

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More About Louisa May Alcott & Elaine Showalter

Louisa May Alcott Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were family friends. Alcott wrote under various pseudonyms and only started using her own name when she was ready to commit to writing. Her novel "Little Women" gave Louisa May Alcott financial independence and a lifetime writing career. She died in 1888.

Early Life

Famed novelist Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Alcott was a best-selling novelist of the late 1800s, and many of her works, most notably Little Women, remain popular today.

Alcott was taught by her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, until 1848, and studied informally with family friends such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker. Residing in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, Alcott worked as a domestic servant and teacher, among other positions, to help support her family from 1850 to 1862. During the Civil War, she went to Washington, D.C. to work as a nurse.

Acclaimed Author

Unknown to most people, Louisa May Alcott had been publishing poems, short stories, thrillers, and juvenile tales since 1851, under the pen name Flora Fairfield. In 1862, she also adopted the pen name A.M. Barnard, and some of her melodramas were produced on Boston stages. But it was her account of her Civil War experiences, Hospital Sketches (1863), that confirmed Alcott's desire to be a serious writer. She began to publish stories under her real name in Atlantic Monthly and Lady's Companion, and took a brief trip to Europe in 1865 before becoming editor of a girls' magazine, Merry's Museum.

The great success of Little Women (1869–70) gave Alcott financial independence and created a demand for more books. Over the final years of her life, she turned out a steady stream of novels and short stories, mostly for young people and drawn directly from her family life. Her other books include Little Men (1871), Eight Cousins (1875) and Jo's Boys (1886). Alcott also tried her hand at adult novels, such as Work (1873) and A Modern Mephistopheles (1877), but these tales were not as popular as her other writings.

Louisa May Alcott lived in Germantown. Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 and died in 1888.

Louisa May Alcott has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Collins Classics
  2. Puffin Classics

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1Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Series > Historical > Little Women   [12  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Alcott, Louisa May   [217  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics   [0  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great deal for the money  Jun 22, 2008
The Library of America produces these great books of bundled literature for really great prices, and of course, this site's price is even better. This was the FIRST TIME I'd ever seen ALL of "Little Women" in its two-volume format, nothing deleted or abridged, all the language of the 1860s intact, and the numerous obscure literary references. There's a great section in the back with all of these references listed, and a section of Alcott's life and the events preceding the publications and her life after. Get as many of these books as you can afford.
little women still a classic  Aug 29, 2007
Never read this as a kid but watched all versions in the movies. The book was so much better. She's great writer, like Lucy Maud Montgomery and Mark Twain. Great american classic.
A World-Beating Trilogy of Human Kindness  Sep 24, 2006
As I re-read these delightful pages, I found myself comparing Little Women to Pride and Prejudice, that outstanding work that captures human psychology so well. The comparison made me see new depths in Little Women that convince me that Little Women is by far the stronger work.

But my biggest reaction was how modern the views in the book are. Women should have education, access to opportunities to develop their interests and marriage to men who will complement them. People should be concerned about each other and help one another, lest any person's life be harmed or feelings hurt in the process.

I also noticed how complete a community of loving women can be within the same family.

The writing style is beautifully spare. The key point of a chapter may turn on two or three words. And then, everything changes in the twinkling of an eye.

Being a long book, Ms. Alcott has plenty of chances to develop her characters and she does so beautifully . . . allowing Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Laurie to grow and change as they age.

I also came to appreciate more the scope of the book, taking the young women from teenage years through the first few years of marriage. It's a time period that few books consider. Usually, it's all over when the marriage happens. I like this approach better.

Should you read Little Women? Does the sun rise in the East?

If you haven't read Little Women, you've missed great role models for how to be a parent, spouse and child.

Here's the story in a nutshell: During the Civil War, Mr. March is away serving as a chaplain in the Union army. Mrs. March (Marmee) and her four daughters are at home in the cold north making do on small income with the help of one servant, Hannah. As the story opens, the March family is facing a frugal Christmas. But events soon take an unexpected turn and their hearts are filled with gladness. Jo makes an unexpected and most humorous acquaintance of the Laurence boy (Theodore, known as Laurie) who lives next door with old Mr. Laurance, his grandfather. The two families draw upon one another for strength and friendships grow. Illness intercedes making the two families even more dependent on one another. One by one, the children move into adulthood, deal with their romantic feelings and form their alliances.

The characters of each child are quite different, allowing Ms. Alcott to explore the contrasts by putting them together in various private and social occasions. Meg is beautiful and much admired. She should attract many suitors. Jo is energetic, self-absorbed and talented in writing (the character closest to Ms. Alcott herself). Beth is very kind and yet fragile. Amy is the social climber in the family . . . and the pet. Laurie has an artistic temperament, but finds himself expected to play an heir's role.

You'll long remember with delight the stories of their thespian performances, games, dances and social visits. Although the book makes up a wonderfully detailed novel, the chapters are written almost as stand-alone short stories that pack a powerful punch in their modeling of good behavior.

If Little Men weren't an entertaining novel, it could serve as a timeless reminder of how adults can help children direct their energies in helpful ways and develop better habits. The philosophy is to provide lots of love, understanding, forgiveness, slack and carefully chosen incentives and guidance while encouraging friendships among youngsters who will balance one another out if they spend time together. You'll recognize lots of Marmee's loving approach in Jo's more rough and tumble perspective. It's a nice combination.

For those who loved the child-centered world of Little Women, you'll be entranced by what Jo does to educate and raise her own boys, her nephew and niece, a troublesome neighbor girl, male boarders and some unfortunate orphans.

Much of the novel focuses on the character development of two poor orphans, Nat and Dan, who find Jo's Plumfield (which she inherited near the end of Little Women) to be an unfamiliar paradise of a home and school that requires some adjusting to.

Although the title is Little Men, there's plenty of focus on Daisy, twin sister to Demi, Nan, an independent girl with lots of energy, and Bess, Amy and Laurie's daughter. There are pretend balls, teas, and dramatic performances that echo those in Little Women.

But the male slant that is subdued in Little Women bursts forth in Little Men as the book recounts pranks, brawls, collections of disgusting items, pillow fights, taming a colt and doing heavy chores.

Like Little Women, the chapters are really short stories involving the same characters as they progress from month to month.

If you liked Little Women and Little Men, you'll be rewarded for reading Jo's Boys because you'll find out what happened to Nat, Dan, Nan, Emil, Tom, Demi, Daisy, Bess, Jo, Meg, Amy and Laurie in another ten years.

Jo is transformed into a famous novelist who spends her time trying to hide from her public with little luck. It's quite humorous. Plumfield is now a college. Nat goes abroad for advanced training in music and learns other lessons better. Dan seeks to build a new world in the West and runs into the consequences of his quick temper. Emil has a most remarkable adventure on the high seas that will remind many of classic sailing tales in the 19th century. Nan is interested in medicine and little else. Demi turns out to be spoiled. Daisy is patiently waiting for her love to return.

Ms. Alcott takes herself more seriously as a writer and enriches the text with references that may not be familiar to many readers. That effect makes the book seem much less accessible.

But the same loving heart underlies this reunion. You just have to look past more language to find it.
I put this item on my wish list because of the May 15, 2005 review  Jan 4, 2006
in the NY Times by MARY JO SALTER titled "Louisa May Alcott's American Girls". I've read a "girls" version a million years ago and have one or more leather bound gifty editions which I haven't read. The Showalter-edited version should be close to the original so I will buy it next month. Please note I have not yet read this version despite my rating and I really wrote here to recommend the review.
Collected classics  Feb 28, 2005
Louisa May Alcott is best known for her classic novel "Little Women," an enchanting look at growing up. But the story of Jo March didn't stop when she went to Plumfields. This collection includes not just "Little Women," but also its two sequels.

"Little Women" introduces us to the four March sisters: pretty Meg, shy Beth, aspiring artist Amy, and tomboyish Jo. In the middle of the Civil War, the girls mature and explore the world, with the help of their mischievous male neighbor Laurie. But with their new freedoms and loves come sacrifices and heartbreak as well...

At the end of the first book, "Mother Bhaer" adopted a small army of preteen boys in addition to her own sons. "Little Men" chronicles the growing pains of her boys -- some of them have been neglected, some are wild, some are nieces and "nevvies" of Jo's, and some just need the delightful chaos of a loving home.

"Jo's Boys" wraps up the trilogy in a bittersweet manner. Jo's boys (and girls) have grown up and are starting to stretch their wings away from home, and are even starting to fall in love. Some of the boys have run-ins with the law, some have trouble pursuing the girls of their dreams, and one will risk his very soul -- and his love -- for something he believes in.

With a much-beloved classic like "Little Women," it's pretty much a given that the sequels won't stack up. But "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys" are still a good mixture of humor, poignancy and "lovering." And of course, the original "Little Women" is one of the best coming-of-age novels of all time, as well as the best book that Alcott ever wrote.

Alcott had a talent for writing realistic family stories and sweet romances, without letting them get dull. And she manages to create a colorful cast, from the mischievous Laurie and rambunctious Jo, to the gentle Marmee and the meek-to-mad cast of "Jo's boys." No matter how many characters Alcott wrote, she managed to give each one a personality.

Louisa May Alcott created the lovable March family, and in the three-pack of "Little Women," "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys," we get to see three generations in action. Funny, poignant and sweet.

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