Louisa May Alcott – American author
Louisa May Alcott was a U.S. author best known for her novel Little Women. The book was based on her own experience growing up in a close-knit New England family. It is one of several of her stories that are still cherished by young readers.
She was also a reformer, working in the causes of temperance and woman’s suffrage.
Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Louisa May was the second of four daughters. She and her three sisters spent their childhood in poverty. Her father was a teacher and philosopher and Louisa received most of her schooling from him. She began writing at a young age. When Louise was two years old, the family moved to Boston, where her father founded an experimental school and joined the transcendentalists club, led by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Soon the Alcotts moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where they joined the utopian settlement Fruitlands, based by transcendentalists.
At the age of 16 she wrote a book, Flower Fables and a number of plays that were never produced.
In 1860s her poems were published in The Atlantic Monthly magazine.
During the Civil War she served as a nurse and her Hospital Sketches (1863) brought the first taste of widespread public attention.
In 1868 Little Women was published. She portrayed herself as Jo and her sisters as Amy, Beth, and Meg. The book was instantly popular with younger readers, and it remains a favorite today.
Alcott also wrote An Old-fashioned Girl (1870), Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886).
She spent her time writing and caring for her sick parents.
Alcott died on March 6, 1888 in Boston.
A crater on Venus was named in her honor.