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Little Women (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Louisa May Alcott , Valerie Alderson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

11 Dec 2008 Oxford World's Classics
Little Women has remained enduringly popular since its publication in 1868, becoming the inspiration for a whole genre of family stories. Set in a small New England community, it tells of the March family: Marmee looks after daughters in the absence of her husband, who is serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War, and Meg, Jo,Beth, and Amy experience domestic trials and triumphs as they attempt to supplement the family's small income. In the second part of the novel (sometimes known as Good Wives) the girls grow up and fall in love. The novel is highly autobiographical, and in Jo's character Alcott portrays a strong-minded and independent woman, determined to control her own destiny. The introduction to this edition provides a fascinating history of the Alcotts,and of Louisa Alcott's own struggles as a writer. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (11 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199538115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538119
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'this children's novel for all ages is vivid from the very first sentence. ... a children's classic ... lovers of the book will find Valerie Alderson's informed and enthusiastic introduction a valuable bonus, especially about the closely autobiographical nature of the book.' The Observer Review

Book Description

A new edition of this heartwarming tale about the endearing March sisters --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, inspiring story 19 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback
Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
Little Women is a brilliant story set in America in the 1800s. Mr March has gone to war, leaving his penniless family at home: his wife, a caring and benovelent women who knows her daughters inside out, Meg, the eldest daughter who is mature and sensible of their situation, Jo, the daughter who longs to be a boy but trys her best to get along with everyone, Beth, quiet but beautiful and who makes the tiniest thing seem like a great excitement and Amy, the youngest, naughty but loveable.
This book takes us through the joy and sadness of a poor family and you are drawn in from the first page. It is very inspiring as well as emotional and it is a lovely story.
I think it is suitable for ages 8+ and it is a brilliant read for both children and adults, especially if you like books set in olden times. An essential book for every collection. I give it 5/5.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my ultimate favourite books of all time 4 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
There are hardly sufficient words to describe this book. Right from the start, you are taken into the hearts of the march family and helped to see their hopes, despairs and everyday life. Everyone can find a sister to identify with, and each character is so realistic it is hard to believe when you put the book down that they are not really with you, telling the story themselves. As a semi-autobiographical book, I have never read anything better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Having not read Little Women in many decades, I was drawn back to the book by my love of visiting the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. I plan to re-visit that wonderful home and want to refresh my recollections of Little Women before doing so. By the way, if you have a chance to visit Orchard House, I strongly recommend that you do. Your sense of Little Women will expand.

As I re-read these delightful pages, I found myself comparing Little Women to Pride and Prejudice, that outstanding work that captures human psychology so well. The comparison made me see new depths in Little Women that convince me that Little Women is by far the stronger work.

But my biggest reaction was how modern the views in the book are. Women should have education, access to opportunities to develop their interests and marriage to men who will complement them. People should be concerned about each other and help one another, lest any person's life be harmed or feelings hurt in the process.

I also noticed how complete a community of loving women can be within the same family.

The writing style is beautifully spare. The key point of a chapter may turn on two or three words. And then, everything changes in the twinkling of an eye.

Being a long book, Ms. Alcott has plenty of chances to develop her characters and she does so beautifully . . . allowing Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Laurie to grow and change as they age.

I also came to appreciate more the scope of the book, taking the young women from teenage years through the first few years of marriage. It's a time period that few books consider. Usually, it's all over when the marriage happens. I like this approach better.

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I first read Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" the summer between 4th and 5th grades. I was absolutely riveted by the story and characters and clearly remember sitting on the porch steps, my nose in the book. I cried when I reached the conclusion, because I was afraid that I had just read the best book in the world, and that I would never find anything else as good. The local librarian convinced me otherwise. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough - for people of all ages. It will always have a special place in my heart.
Ms. Alcott writes about four young women, living in New England, during a period of much strife in America - the Civil War. They are self sufficient, creative and well educated, and each chooses a different life path, traditional and non. Considering the period when the book was written, the author's views on opportunities open to females, restricted though they were by society, is refreshing and liberating. Of course, this was not my focus as a nine year-old. The novel is long, but that never bothered me as a young girl, or much later when I reread it. I didn't want the story to end, actually.
Sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March and their beloved Marmee, (who offers her daughters guidance, comfort and unconditional love), learn to live in genteel poverty while their father, a doctor, is away treating wounded soldiers. This beautifully written classic, chronicles the girls' adolescence through womanhood, with all their trial, tribulations, and joys.
Much of the novel focuses on Jo, the second daughter, and a gifted writer. She is very much a tomboy, and an avid reader who writes plays which the girls act-out with delight and exuberance.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an absolutely brilliant book 9 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After hearing about this book from a Tv programme and my family i thought what was all the fuss about. Then i read it and i knew straight away. This book sends out so many different emotions, in some chapters you can be laughing and in others you can be crying. This is why i loved the book so much. It tells the story about 4 sisters who go through different stages of their lives and who suffer and enjoy like everyone else in the world its not some fantasy story. I would recommend this book to everyone its a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this was a gift.not read it
Published 4 days ago by juliette green
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I loved this book, it was a lovely story and I couldn't put it down. Made me watch the film too, but I do think the book is a lot better :)
Published 10 days ago by Eloise
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this. I like the characters and its good ...
Really enjoyed this. I like the characters and its good to see that women were still quite fiesty even quite long ago.
Published 21 days ago by EmmaChops
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great book
Published 26 days ago by sharon worthington
4.0 out of 5 stars nice little book
Very small book, but wonderful story
Published 28 days ago by Michelle Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Am sure she you will enjoy it as I did as a child
Purchased for my grand daughter. Am sure she you will enjoy it as I did as a child.
Published 28 days ago by teaperson
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it but takes a bit of getting into
Ahead of it's time but might seem a little archaic now. I enjoyed it but takes a bit of getting into!
Published 1 month ago by Julesta
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
Disappointed with this. Very boring, nothing happens. Cannot understand why it is so popular.
Published 1 month ago by clare
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This order was processed efficiently and my granddaughter was pleased with her gift.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Kaye E. Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product and service. Many thanks.
Published 2 months ago by James Hope
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