Louisa May Alcott Books - Little Women and Beyond

The Major Works

Illustrated portrait of American author Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888), mid to late 19th century.
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While Louisa May Alcott is best known for the book Little Women, she wrote others in the same series and also wrote books not related to that series.  At a time when most literature for children, and especially for girls, was quite religious, the books Alcott wrote are notably secular. Her Transcendentalism pervades the books, but not as an explicit religion.

Little Women

Little Women and Its Sequels, Forming a Trilogy by Louisa May Alcott:

  • Little Women - A coming-of-age story set during and after the Civil War in Massachusetts, featuring the four daughters of the March family. The book as its currently published was originally two volumes: the first, Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and the second, Good Wives.
  • Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys - The school established by Jo and Professor Bhaer, and the boys who attend. Characters from Little Women appear again, as do some new characters who are students at the boys' school.  Alcott's father, Bronson Alcott, had tried his hand at education, and his educational ideas (revolutionary for the time) are reflected in the book.
  • Jo's Boys and How They Turned Out - Alcott finishes with the March family's story by completing the stories of the women and men she introduced in Little Men. There are main female characters besides Jo, including two (Nan Harding and Josie Brooke) who succeed in careers.
  • In addition, Louisa May Alcott published six collections of stories all titled Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag.   The second volume, Shawl Straps, was published in 1872. 

    The "Little Women Series" by Louisa May Alcott included the following which are not about the March family:

    • Eight Cousins
    • Rose in Bloom, A Sequel to Eight Cousins

    More by Louisa May Alcott

    Flower Fables - first book published by Louisa May Alcott, consisting of fairy tales.

    Hospital Sketches - Louisa May Alcott's nonfiction account of her brief service as a nurse in the Civil War, working with with Dorothea Dix and the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

    On Picket Duty and Other Tales.  Published in 1864.

    Moods - a Louisa May Alcott novel about marriage, goodness, nature and books. The revision diminished the emphasis on her views of marriage.

    An Old-Fashioned Girl - a novel for young adults, similar in style to Little Women but not part of the March family story.

    Work: A Story of Experience - an autobiographical novel.

    A Modern Mephistopheles - originally published anonymously

    Spinning-Wheel Stories.  Published in 1884.

    Two More Written for Young Adults

    • Under the Lilacs. Published in 1878. Features Miss Celia and her brother Thornton, plus Ben, adopted by Miss Celia, and his friends Bette and Bab.
    • Jack and Jill: A Village Story. Published in 1880.

    Sensational Stories

    Louisa May Alcott also published sensational stories under the pen name of A. M. Barnard.  Two collections of these have been published more recently, both edited by Madeleine Stern:

    • Behind a Mask: the Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott, published 1975.
    • Plots and Counterplots: More Unknown Thrillers by Louisa May Alcott, published 1976.

    Journals and Letters

    In 1889, Ednah D. Cheney published Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals.  The journals and letters were seriously censored by Alcott herself before her death and before Cheney had access to them.

    Elizabeth Palmer Peabody published documents from Bronson Alcott's school as Record of Mr. Alcott's School; this contains some material likely from Louisa May Alcott.