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Little Women (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 11 Dec 2008


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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: 19.6 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. Educated by her father, the Transcendentalist thinker Bronson Alcott, she was influenced by the prominent men of his circle. Emerson, Hawthorne, Parker and Thoreau. The family was usually short of money, and she worked at various tasks from sewing to writing to help to support it. The Civil War broke out in 1861, and in 1862 she began to work as a volunteer army nurse in a Union Hospital. Out of this came her first book, Hospital Sketches (1863); she went on to write several Gothic romances and thrillers. With the publication of Little Women, her first full-length novel for girls, Alcott leapt from being an obscure, struggling New England writer to becoming the best-selling American author of the century. However, she suffered from ill health aggravated by early deprivation and overwork. Alcott died in Boston in 1888.

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

Enter the world of the Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - the sisters who have inspired and enchanted readers for generations --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Miss Beret on 19 Sept. 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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug. 2006
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.

Should you read Little Women?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a child I read Little Women and its sequels repeatedly and loved them. Having to read it again for a course recently I wasn't sure if it would live up to my extremely fond memories. It did.

This is an excellent edition which combines the first two volumes, Little Women and Good Wives, along with a fascinating introductory essay. The notes are clear, simple and easy to understand and as a study edition I doubt that you could find better.

I still love the story of the four March sisters, flung into genteel poverty and trying their best to become the good little women of the title. Despite the fact that I was much more aware of the overtly moral sentiments of the text this time around it didn't detract from the lively characterisation, the humour and the fact that Alcott allows you to inhabit their world to such a degree that you are sad to leave by the end.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading "Little Women" for English and it is an amazing read for all ages. It clearly and effectively indicates the struggle of women in the 19th century, while making it a funny, exciting and enjoyable read. Jo March, the protagonist, is a character that all women can relate to. She wishes to carry out her dreams while looking after her family. All of her adventures within this novel shows the struggle of a woman who is ahead of her time. This is a novel that I could not put down until the last page and would urge everyone to read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
'Little Women' is a touching story with a message - that money isn't everything. For the March girls, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, money isn't exactly in its plenty, with their father away, life can sometimes seem difficult. However, the girls seem to pull through anything, and even Amy, the youngest and most extravagent of the girls learns to cope with the hardships. With no male presence in the house, Jo sees it her duty to be the father figure, and her boyish nature and firey temper often clash with those of her older and more ladylike sister Meg. The peacekeeper of the family is Beth. She is gentle and quiet, she never has a cross word to say, and she just takes life as it comes.
In my opinion, 'Little Women' is an essential read for any girl. Its charm, sensitivity and sometimes light humour make it the sort of book you'll want to read again and again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By VB on 2 Sept. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
How wonderful to find this beautiful book. Downloaded the Kindle for Mac and found this! I remember reading a battered old copy of Little Women which belonged to my Grandma when I was a small child. Now I can sit and read on my Mac as the hubby and the kids run round my feet!! Bliss
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