Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" was published (September 30, 1868)
On this date in American literary history – September 30,
1868, the first volume of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was published. The novel will become Alcott's first
bestseller and a beloved children's classic. Like the fictional Jo March,
Alcott was the second of four daughters. She was born in Pennsylvania but spent
most of her life in Concord, Massachusetts, where her father, Bronson,
associated with Transcendentalist thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David
Thoreau. The liberal attitudes of the Transcendentalists left a strong mark on
Louisa May. Her father started a school based on Transcendentalist teachings,
but after six years it failed, and he was left unable to support the family.
Louisa dedicated most of her life and writing to supporting her family. In
1852, her first story, The Rival
Painters: A Tale of Rome, was published in a periodical, and she made a
living off sentimental and melodramatic stories over the next two decades. In
1862, she worked as a nurse for Union troops in the Civil War until typhoid
fever broke her health. She turned her experiences into Hospital Sketches (1863), which earned her a reputation as a
serious literary writer.
Looking for a bestseller, a publisher asked Alcott to
write a book for girls. Although reluctant at first, she poured her best talent
into the work, and the first volume of the serialized novel Little Women became an instant success.
She wrote a chapter a day for the second half of the book. Her subsequent
children's fiction, including Little Men
(1871), An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870),
Eight Cousins (1875), and Jo's Boys (1886), were not as popular as
Little Women. She also wrote many
short stories for adults. She became a strong supporter of women's issues and
spent most of her life caring for her family's financial, emotional, and
physical needs. Her father died on March 4, 1888, and she followed him just two
days later at the age of 55.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous books that
includes the soon to be released America’s
Literary Legends: The Lives and Burial Places of 50 Great Writers. Visit
Michael’s website www.michaelthomasbarry.com
for more information. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the