A 19th-century American novelist of the transcendentalist school, Louisa May Alcott is most renowned for Little Women. Essays in this volume take a closer look at Alcott, her beliefs, and her work in Little Women and its two sequels. A great starting point for students seeking an introduction to Louisa May Alcott and the critical discussions surrounding her work.
Some essays in this title focus on indisputably famous books but offer fresh insights about them, while others offer fresh and tantalizing perspectives on lesser-known aspects of Alcott's career. Whatever reader's familiarity with Alcott's life and works, the essays offer diverse and original approaches to literary study, breadth, and depth of literary and cultural history, and an invitation to take part in the ongoing conversation. These essays aim to illuminate not only the specific Alcott texts addressed here but also her entire body of work.
This title is divided into four sections:
1. Career, Life, and Influence
This introductory essay is inspired by actual questions asked by students about Alcott and her works.
2. Critical Contexts
Four critical context essays offer top notch-scholarship on an impressive range of Alcott's works, the purpose to provide background to the Alcott that is historical, cultural, and biographical foundation for the reader.
3. Critical Readings
This main section of the book provides ten in-depth essays that offer an examination of all aspects of the author. Each essay is 2,500-5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "works Cited" along with endnotes.
The volume's appendices offer a section of useful reference resources:
- A chronology of the author's life
- A complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
- A general bibliography
- A detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
- Notes on the individual chapter authors
- A subject index