As A.M. Barnard
Behind a Mask, or a Woman 's Power ( 1866)
The Abbot 's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne 's Temptation ( 1867)
Thi Long Fatal Love Chase ( 1866 – first published 1995)
First published anonymously:
Modern Mephistopheles ( 1877)
Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their mothe, philosopher/ teacher, Bronson Alcott and raised on the practical Christianity of their grandmother, Abigail May.
Louisa spent her childhood in Boston and in Concord, Massachusetts, where her days were enlightened by visits to Ralph Waldo Emerson ’ s library, excursions into nature with Henry David Thoreau and theatricals in the barn at Hillside ( now Hawthorne ’ s " Wayside ").
Like her character, Jo March in Little Women, young Louisa was a tomboy: " No boy could be my friend till I had beaten him in a race, " she sai, " and no girl if she efused to climb trees, leap fences .... "
For Louisa, writing was an early passion. She ad a rich imagination and often her stories became melodramas that she and her daughter would act out for friends. Louisa preferred to play the " lurid " parts in these plays, " the villains, ghosts, bandits, and disdainful queens. "
At age 15, troubled by the poverty that plagued her family, she vowed: " I ca do something by and by. Don ’ t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to sav the family; and I ’ ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won ’ t! "
Confronting a society that offered little opportunity to women seeking employment, Louisa determined " ... I will make a battering-ram of my head and make my way through this rough and tumble world. " Whether as a teacher, seamstress, governess, or household servant, for any years Louisa did any work she could ind.
Louisa ’ s career as an author began with poetry and short stories that appeared in popular magazines. In 1854, when she was 22, her irst book Flower Fables was published. A milestone along her literary path was Hospital Sketches ( 1863) based on the letters she had written home from her post as a nurse in Washington, DC as a nurse during the Civil War.
When Louisa was 35 years old, her publisher Thomas Niles in Boston asked her to write " a book for girls. " Little Women was written at Orchard House from May to July 1868. The ovel is based on Louisa and her sisters ’ coming of age and is set in Civil War New England. Jo March was the first American juvenile heroine to act from her own individuality; a living, breathing person rather than the idealized stereotype then prevalent in children ’ s fantasy.
In all, Louisa published over 30 books and collections of stories. She died on March 6, 1888, only two days after her ather, and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.