Some of Alcott’s feminist ideals come through in Eight Cousins, as they do to some degree in all her novels. Rose is allowed to choose clothing that is healthier and less restrictive than the typical Victorian garb for girls and women. Alcott also has Rose learn a skill – albeit one that is traditional for women – housekeeping. She learns how to perform domestic chores with skill and efficiency. Rose is transformed from a timid orphan girl to an educated competent young woman in the course of one year.
This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.