Best known for her book ‘Little Women’ Louisa May Alcott, wrote 32 books and numerous magazine articles. The second of four daughters of transcendentalist Amos Alcott, Louisa grew up listening to her father’s friends Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau share their ideas about life and nature.
While many family friends were wealthy, the Alcott family struggled with poverty. Louisa and two of her sisters had to work to help support the family. The sisters were primarily schooled by their father with only her youngest sister being able to attend school.
Her most famous books, Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, written over a twenty year period were based on her family with parallels that allow the reader into Alcott’s life. Her main character Jo was based on herself. She wrote about many of her life experiences including the marriage of her older sister and the death of her younger sister in her work.
Little women is a literary favorite that lends itself well to the big screen. Each film version focuses on different elements of the book. It’s a fun project to read the books then watch all the movies and compare them: Little Women 1933 with Katharine Hepburn as Jo, Little Women 1949 in Technicolor with June Allyson as Jo, and Little Women 1994 with Winona Ryder as Jo.