The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
Edited by Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy
Madeleine B. Stern, Associate Editor

The private diaries of the woman behind Little Women


"It's a credit to Louisa May Alcott's timeless storytelling abilities that her thoughts on woman suffrage, slavery, and even berry picking are nevertheless illuminating."
New York Times Book Review

"The bubbling young woman who said she was 'born with a boy's spirit under [her] bib and tucker' was always a lively, charming writer, never more so than in her record of her own struggles and adventures."

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From her eleventh year to the month of her death at age fifty-five, Louisa May Alcott kept copious journals. She never intended them to be published, but the insights they provide into her remarkable life are invaluable.

Alcott grew up in a genteel but impoverished household, surrounded by the literary and philosophical elite of nineteenth-century New England, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Like her fictional alter ego, Jo March, she was a free spirit who longed for independence, yet she dutifully supported her parents and three sisters with her literary efforts. In the journals are to be found hints of Alcott's surprisingly complex persona as well as clues to her double life as an author not only of "high" literature but also of serial thrillers and Gothic romances.

Associate editor Madeleine B. Stern has added an in-depth introduction to The Journals of Louisa May Alcott, the only unabridged edition of Alcott's private diaries.

Page count: 400 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $34.95

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Joel Myerson is Carolina Distinguished Professor of American Literature at the University of South Carolina. Daniel Shealy is a professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Madeleine B. Stern is the author of numerous books about Louisa May Alcott.