Louisa May Alcott Quotes

Popular Author of the 19th Century

Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott. Culture Club / Getty Images

Part of the Transcendentalist circle in Concord, Massachusetts, Louisa May Alcott was guided as a writer by her father, Bronson Alcott, as well as by her teacher, Henry David Thoreau, and friends Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker. Louisa May Alcott began writing for a living to help support her family. She also briefly served as a nurse during the Civil War.

Selected Louisa May Alcott Quotations

  • Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. 
  • Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.
  • Help one another is part of the religion of our sisterhood.
  • Many argue; not many converse.
  • Resolve to take fate by the throat and shake a living out of her.
  • I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us.
  • "Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary.
  • I asked for bread, and I got a stone in the shape of a pedestal.
  • Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents.
  • It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.
  • I put in my list all the busy, useful independent spinsters I know, for liberty is a better husband than love to many of us.
  • Housekeeping ain't no joke!
  • I am angry nearly every day of my life, but I have learned not to show it; and I still try to hope not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do it.
  • I like to help women help themselves, as that is, in my opinion, the best way to settle the woman question. Whatever we can do and do well we have a right to, and I don't think any one will deny us.
  • People don't have fortunes left them -- nowadays; men have to work, and women to marry for money. It's a dreadfully unjust world.... 
  • Now we are expected to be as wise as men who have had generations of all the help there is, and we scarcely anything.
  • Now I am beginning to live a little and feel less like a sick oyster at low tide.
  • I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.
  • Love is a great beautifier.
  • Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death. Like a confiding child, she asked no questions, but left everything to God and nature, Father and Mother of us all, feeling sure that they, and they only, could teach and strengthen heart and spirit for this life and the life to come. (Little Women, chapter 36)
  • I do not ask for any crown / But that which all may win / Nor try to conquer any world / Except the one within / Be Thou my guide until I find / Led by a tender hand / The happy kingdom in myself /And dare to take command.  (Thoreau's Flute)
  • Above man's aims his nature rose / The wisdom of a just content / Made one small spot a continent / And turned to poetry life's prose [about Henry David Thoreau 
  • Poor dull Concord. Nothing colorful has come through here since the Redcoats.
  • A child her wayward pencil drew / On margins of her book / Garlands of flower, dancing elves / Bud, butterfly, and brook / Lessons undone, and plum forgot / Seeking with hand and heart / The teacher whom she learned to love / Before she knew t'was Art.

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Louisa May Alcott Quotes." ThoughtCo, Sep. 2, 2021, thoughtco.com/louisa-may-alcott-quotes-3525399. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2021, September 2). Louisa May Alcott Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/louisa-may-alcott-quotes-3525399 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Louisa May Alcott Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/louisa-may-alcott-quotes-3525399 (accessed March 22, 2023).