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Little Women: 7 mind-blowing facts

7 intriguing facts about the Little Women book

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As so many, I love the Little Women book by Louisa May Alcott. Just a few days ago, the trailer for the new Little Women film was released. The cast is pretty amazing! For instance, Meg March is played by Emma Watson, Jo March by Saoirse Roman and Aunt March by Meryl Streep!

If you are a Little Women fan, then I'm certain that you have watched the 1994 film adaptation starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon. Because of the popularity of the book, there are a lot of different TV and film adaptations. For instance, in 2018 the BBC released a Little Women miniseries at around Christmas time. I watched the first 20 minutes of the first episode. Then I gave up.... I really didn't like the acting style and tone.

There are also...

  • Little Women (2018): I haven't seen it and I don't want to as it is set in modern times. That just doesn't make any sense.
  • Little Women (1978): I haven't watched it either but apparently it is terrible.
  • Little Women (1949): Elizabeth Taylor plays Amy in that one.
  • Little Women (1933): Again, I haven't seen it but it is supposedly one of the better ones.

In a sense, I’m a little bit worried about the new film but purely because we all will have very high expectations…and I’m not entirely sure if they can be met! Let’s stay hopeful.

Little Women was firstly published in 1868, a time which was marked by influential thinkers and writers that embraced new world views.  If I counted correctly, Alcott’s book celebrated its 150th anniversary last year! Isn’t it fascinating and wonderful that this little book is still so widely read?

Little Women is a heart-warming story about the fictional March family. We all can identify with Jo, the protagonist who always tries to follow her heart. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about the book and Alcott.  

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  1. There are two official sequels to Little Women

After Little Women there were two more official sequels: Little Men (published in 1871) and Jo’s Boys (published in 1886). Have you heard of Good Wives too? Well, Good Wives is the second part of Little Women!

  1. Little Women is based on Alcott’s own experiences

The inspiration for the March sisters came from Alcott’s own sisters. Jo was based on herself! However, one major difference between Alcott and Jo was that Jo got married in the end whereas Alcott remained unmarried.

A lot of the events that take place in the novel were inspired by her own childhood. For example, Alcott based Amy on her sister Lizzie, who had died of scarlet fever.

  1. Alcott was an American feminist, abolitionist and financially independent

Alcott was a financially completely independent woman after the success of Little Women. She believed that women should not focus on marriage. And of course, many girls were inspired by the independence and strength that Alcott expressed through Jo. Alcott was the first to register to vote in Massachusetts in a local election. She was also an abolitionist and her anti-slavery articles were published by The Atlantic Monthly.

  1. Alcott wrote Little Women within less than 3 months

She started to write Little Women in May 1868 and sent her finished manuscript to the editor on July the 15th. Apparently, she was consumed by the story and even forgot to sleep and eat from time to time.

  1. Initially, Little Women was published in two parts

The first part ended with John Brooke’s proposal to Meg. Good Wives, the second part, was published in the following year. This was done to keep the readers hooked!

  1. The Orchard House still exists, and you can visit it

As mentioned above, Alcott based her tale on her own experiences. And thus, the novel is set in her family home in Concord, Massachusetts. What’s really fantastic is that the house still exists, and you can visit it and take a guided tour!

  1. Before Little Women, Alcott wrote under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard

Yes, Alcott also wrote other books (for example: Behind a Mask or a Woman's Power and A long fatal love Chase)! Every single one of Alcott’s novels are dominated by an intelligent female protagonist. Some of her stories were quite dramatic and erotic and sometimes even included gothic elements.

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