Louisa May Alcott
1832 – 1888 A.D.
Louisa May Alcott, an American writer. Her early struggles with poverty are referred to in her book entitled Work.
She began to write stories for weekly journals when she was about twenty years of age, and received a mere pittance; she continued for years with just enough success to keep her from becoming altogether discouraged.
When the Civil War broke out, she volunteered as a nurse, and was stationed at Georgetown, D.C. Her first book, Hospital Sketches was inspired by her army experience.
In 1867, her publishers suggested that she should write a story for girls, and in three months she wrote Little Women, one of the most popular juvenile books that was ever written. Success now came to her, and she could not write fast enough to supply the demand.
In late years she suffered from much ill-health; but her writing was to the last typical in her social ethics of the literary generation in which her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, had been a prominent figure.
Josephine Lazarus says:
The happy, guileless world of children claims Louisa May Alcott for its own. She comes freely among them a child herself in her simplicity and camaraderie, with the undeniable “something” which means sympathy, comprehension, and, above all, appreciation. But now that the story of her life has been told, with its unswerving purpose and will, its gentle and absolutely disinterested affections, her works seem to fade into insignificance, the woman rises before us, and her fame lifts itself upon the broader basis, and takes ampler scope and proportions. She comes freely among us, children no more, but struggling men and women, grateful to be helped, to be sustained and even to be rebuked by so valiant an example as hers.”
See Life, Letters and Journals by Ednah D. Cheney (Boston, 1889), and Louisa may Alcott, Dreamer and Worker by Belle Moses (New York, 1909).
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.