Thursday, December 30, 2010
Louisa May Alcott is one of my favorite writers so when I found this volume of Holiday stories in a thrift store, I quickly grabbed it. It is a lovely combination of three short stories that focus on the lives of teenage girls. Each story imparts moral lessons with Christmas as the backdrop. This is a very short volume of Louisa May Alcott's work that can easily be read in one sitting or read aloud to children.
These three stories were written for a home-produced magazine called Little Things. Little Things was produced by a group of impoverished sisters, the Luken girls, who wanted to emulate Little Women's in home family paper called The Pickwick Portfolio. The Luken girls were very successful with their paper and amassed 1000 subscribers, at which point the paper began to be a burden and so they sold off the paper's rights.
These stories stayed hidden for years and thankfully were found and re-published to be enjoyed by another generation.
Louisa May Alcott was a nurse during the Civil War and with her many stories that were published, she was the person who pulled The Alcotts out of poverty frequently. If you are interested in reading a good biography of the Alcott family try reading Eden's Outcasts. The story of Louisa May Alcott and her Father by John Matteson. It is a large volume, sometimes a bit dry but very informative and interesting especially if you are a big fan of Alcott. What I found most interesting was how Little Women was created and fashioned after Alcott's own family. Her health after her short career as a nurse in the Civil War was greatly affected by the mercury poisoning she suffered after getting typhus. It explains her death at a young age.
Louisa May Alcott and her family are fascinating and her stories are timeless.