Louisa May Alcott

Essay by BenjamJunior High, 9th gradeA, May 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.7

Louisa May Alcott; while primarily a writer of adult fiction, is one of the most prominent writers of juvenile fiction today. Her biggest success was "Little Women" a series of novels captured perfectly the ideals and values of middle class domestic life in the 19th century. She is known also for her work in reform, advocating temperance and Women's suffrage.

Louisa was born in 1832 the daughter of Bronson Alcott: a transcendentalist philosopher and educator. She and her three sisters spent their childhood in perpetual poverty. However, they were fortunate to have as friends, and sometimes as tutors, some of the most brilliant and famous men and women of the day such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Theodore Parker. Because of her father's difficulty providing a steady income Louisa had to help provide for her family by taking whatever jobs a young lady such as she could undertake.

In 1852 Louisa's first poem, "Sunlight" was published in Peterson's magazine under the pen name, Flora Fairfield. Although the pay was less than modest she launched a career that ended her financial problems. Only three years later her first book; Flower Fables was published and with an income she left her family and decided to further her literary career in Boston. However tragedy soon struck as her younger sister Lizzie contracted Scarlet Fever. After Lizzie's death and her older sister Anna's matrimony Louisa returned to the Concord house to comfort her lonely mother.

Always a caring women Louisa chose to volunteer as a Civil War Nurse. Unfortunately she like many other Civil War Nurses was stricken with Typhoid Fever. She did recover but she was would suffer from mercury poisoning for the rest of her life. She had been administered calomel (the drug used to...



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