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Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys: (Library of America #156) Hardcover – February 17, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Library of America has done a great service to Alcott lovers and nineteenth-century literature scholars alike by bringing Louisa May Alcott's March family trilogy together in a single, beautifully crafted volume. Insightfully edited by the incomparable Elaine Showalter, this is the best combined presentation of Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys that we could possibly have asked for." — John Matteson, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

About the Author

Elaine Showalter, editor, is Professor of English and Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities Emerita at Princeton University. She has written many books, including A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977) and A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (2009), and edited Alternative Alcott (1988).
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America (Book 156)
  • Hardcover: 1045 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First THUS Edition edition (February 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931082731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931082730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louisa May Alcott is best known for her classic novel "Little Women," an enchanting look at growing up. But the story of Jo March didn't stop when she went to Plumfields. This collection includes not just "Little Women," but also its two sequels.

"Little Women" introduces us to the four March sisters: pretty Meg, shy Beth, aspiring artist Amy, and tomboyish Jo. In the middle of the Civil War, the girls mature and explore the world, with the help of their mischievous male neighbor Laurie. But with their new freedoms and loves come sacrifices and heartbreak as well...

At the end of the first book, "Mother Bhaer" adopted a small army of preteen boys in addition to her own sons. "Little Men" chronicles the growing pains of her boys -- some of them have been neglected, some are wild, some are nieces and "nevvies" of Jo's, and some just need the delightful chaos of a loving home.

"Jo's Boys" wraps up the trilogy in a bittersweet manner. Jo's boys (and girls) have grown up and are starting to stretch their wings away from home, and are even starting to fall in love. Some of the boys have run-ins with the law, some have trouble pursuing the girls of their dreams, and one will risk his very soul -- and his love -- for something he believes in.

With a much-beloved classic like "Little Women," it's pretty much a given that the sequels won't stack up. But "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys" are still a good mixture of humor, poignancy and "lovering." And of course, the original "Little Women" is one of the best coming-of-age novels of all time, as well as the best book that Alcott ever wrote.

Alcott had a talent for writing realistic family stories and sweet romances, without letting them get dull.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kimi on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Library of America produces these great books of bundled literature for really great prices, and of course, Amazon's price is even better. This was the FIRST TIME I'd ever seen ALL of "Little Women" in its two-volume format, nothing deleted or abridged, all the language of the 1860s intact, and the numerous obscure literary references. There's a great section in the back with all of these references listed, and a section of Alcott's life and the events preceding the publications and her life after. Get as many of these books as you can afford.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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? Does the sun rise in the East?

If you haven't read Little Women, you've missed great role models for how to be a parent, spouse and child.

Here's the story in a nutshell: During the Civil War, Mr. March is away serving as a chaplain in the Union army. Mrs. March (Marmee) and her four daughters are at home in the cold north making do on small income with the help of one servant, Hannah.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How handy to have my three favorite Alcott books in one volume. Must read for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 11year old granddaughter who has just begun to show interest in the Alcott books. It is one book with over 1000 pages, that contains the unabridged versions of the three books. The pages are very thin so the size of the book isn't overwhelming. She immediately started reading it and loved it. I found some of the Alcott books, but they were abridged which I didn't want. A must for everyone's library.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ceebs on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Never read this as a kid but watched all versions in the movies. The book was so much better. She's great writer, like Lucy Maud Montgomery and Mark Twain. Great american classic.
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By Leapardnose on July 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved them. Read the 3 of them right through and will again.
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Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys: (Library of America #156)
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