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born 1832

The daughter of a pretty, high-society mother and a penniless, scholarly father, Louisa May Alcott grew up in a community that defined American Letters, gaining an education from the likes of Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller & Ralph Waldo Emerson. Before the aspiring author became one of the US's best loved names in children's literature, she moonlighted as an actress, laundress, lady's companion, seamstress + governess. During the Civil War, the abolitionist served as a Union nurse; she signed on as a suffragist after. But through all her hard work at these various occupations, Louisa kept up her main passion ~ writing.

She made a small income from fanciful + pulpy short stories, but it wasn't until she published Little Women ~ a fictionalized account of her own New England childhood ~ that she became a household name.Today, the story of the imaginative tomboy Jo and her 3 beloved sisters continues to delight audiences with its "good strong words that mean something."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Louisa May Alcott (13)

"I am trying to turn my brains into money by stories."

letter to her father | november 1855

"It takes two flints to make a fire."

Little Women | january 1868

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship."

Little Women | september 1868

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents."

Little Women | september 1868

"Housekeeping ain't no joke."

Little Women | september 1868

"Love casts out fear."

Little Women | september 1868

"Be worthy, love, and love will come."

Little Women | september 1868

"Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy."

Little Women | september 1868

"Love is a great beautifier."

Little Women | september 1868

"What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?"

Little Women | september 1868

"Women have been called queens a long time, but the kingdom given them isn't worth ruling."

An Old-Fashioned Girl | 1873

"Mother loveā€”that divine gift which comforts, purifies, and strengthens all who seek it."

Jo's Boys | 1886

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I cannot reach them: but I can look up, and see their beauty; believe in them, and try to follow where they lead..."

Work: A Story of Experience | 1904
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curated with care by Pauline Weger