You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.
Little Women
novel by Alcott
Media
Print

Little Women

novel by Alcott
Alternative Titles: “Little Women, or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy”

Little Women, in full Little Women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, novel for children by Louisa May Alcott, published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. Her sister May illustrated the first edition. It initiated a genre of family stories for children.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March are raised in genteel poverty by their loving mother, Marmee, in a quiet Massachusetts town while their father serves as an army chaplain during the American Civil War. They befriend Theodore Lawrence (Laurie), the lonely grandson of a rich old man next door. The vital force of the family is Jo, a headstrong tomboy who is the emotional centre of the book. In the course of the novel, beautiful, vain Meg marries Laurie’s tutor, John Brooke, and starts her own family; quiet, sickly Beth dies from scarlet fever; artistic Amy marries Laurie after he is turned down by Jo; and Jo marries Professor Bhaer, whom she meets while living in a boardinghouse, and together they set up a school for boys.

The novel has two sequels: Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys (1871) and Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out (1886). Little Women also inspired numerous movies, including the 1933 classic, which starred Katharine Hepburn as Jo, and a 1994 film directed by Gillian Armstrong. In addition, director-screenwriter Greta Gerwig’s adaptation earned wide acclaim in 2019.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.
Your preference has been recorded
Our best content from the original Encyclopeadia Britannica available when you subscribe!
Britannica First Edition
乐彩网 临海市 湖北省 钟祥市 大同市 兰溪市 湘潭市 松滋市 铁力市 彭州市 厦门市 宜春市 邹城市 彭州市 山东省 金昌市 平度市 海南省 双滦区 忻州市 葫芦岛市 十堰市 平度市 潞城市 临沂市 阜新市 普兰店市 汉川市 兴城市 都匀市 枣庄市 安达市 烟台市 高邮市 梅河口市 江油市 白银市 丰城市 孝义市 石首市 池州市 葫芦岛市 福建省 金华市 梅河口市 胶州市 上虞市 大石桥市 江阴市 吉首市 大庆市 铁力市 深州市 山西省 厦门市 项城市 永州市 原平市 明光市 耒阳市