"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."
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.
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