Image Donated by Corbis - Bettmann
NAME: Louisa May Alcott
BIRTHDATE: November 29, 1832
BIRTH PLACE: Germantown (now a part of Philadelphia), Pennsylvania. Her family moved in 1834 to Boston, Massachusetts. and in 1840 Concord, Massachusetts.
DATE OF DEATH: March 6, 1888- the date of her own father's funeral, to which she was unaware
PLACE OF DEATH: Boston, Massachusetts
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Louisa was one of four daughters. Although her father's association with the Transcendentalists allowed Louisa to grow up in an intellectual and non-conventional environment, her own views challenged the transcendental philosophies. Her education served to foster her love and dedication to writing, acting, education and women's rights.
EDUCATION: Most of Louisa May Alcott's early education was received by her father, Bronson Alcott. For a short time she attended a small school in Still River Village and a small school held in her family's barn. She was instructed throughout her childhood by her father's fellow Transcendentalists: writers and family friends, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Louisa May Alcott is widely known as the writer of Little Women, a self reflective children's book published in 1868. The success of this book led to other books based on Alcott's life such as Little Men and Jo's Boys. Louisa's success as a writer allowed her to support her sisters and parents.
Prompted by her wish to promote womens' roles and her hatred for slavery, as a young adult during the Civil War, she volunteered to be a nurse in an army hospital in Washington, D.C.. During this time, Alcott contracted typhoid fever. This experience provided the theme for her work, Hospital Sketches.
Although she is most popular for her children's literature, Alcott explored the themes of self expression and women's rights through her adult fiction works Behind a Mask; or, A Woman's Power, and Work: A Story of Experience, and A Modern Mephistopheles.
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty.
- Louisa May Alcott
detail of Corbis - Bettmann image
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