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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.50
  • December 2003
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97614-4
  • 665 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Little Women

Norton Critical Editions


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Louisa May Alcott (Author), Gregory Eiselein (Editor, Kansas State University), Anne K Phillips (Editor, Kansas State University)


This authoritative, accurate text of the first edition (1868–69) of Little Women is accompanied by textual variants and thorough explanatory annotations.

“Backgrounds and Contexts” includes a wealth of archival materials, among them previously unpublished correspondence with Thomas Niles and Alcott’s own precursors to Little Women. “Criticism” reprints twenty nineteenth-century reviews. Seven modern essays represent a variety of critical theories used to read and study the novel, including feminist (Catharine R. Stimpson, Elizabeth Keyser), new historicist (Richard H. Brodhead), psychoanalytic (Angela M. Estes and Kathleen Margaret Lant), and reader-response (Barbara Sicherman). A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.


    List of Illustrations



    The Text of Little Women

    Little Women, Part First

    Little Women, Part Second

    A Note on the Text

    Textual Variants

    Backgrounds and Contexts


    1. Louisa May Alcott—Journals
    2. Bronson Alcott—Journals
    3. Louisa May Alcott, Bronson Alcott, and Thomas Niles—Correspondence on
    4. Little Women
    5. Louisa M. Alcott—Recollections of My Childhood
    6. Madeleine B. Stern—From Louisa May Alcott: A Biography


    1. John Bunyan—From The Pilgrim’s Progress
      1. [The Palace Beautiful]—[The Valley of Humiliation and Apollyon]
      2. [The Valley of the Shadow of Death]—[Vanity Fair]—[Green Meadows]
      3. [The Author’s Way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the Pilgrim]
      4. [Great-Heart]
    2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—From Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship
      1. [Mignon’s Song]
    3. Maria Edgeworth—The Purple Jar
    4. “Jo” [Louisa May Alcott] and “Meg” [Anna B. Alcott Pratt]—Norna; or, The Witche’s Curse
    5. L.M.A. [Louisa May Alcott]—The Masked Marriage
    6. L.M.A. [Louisa May Alcott]—The Sister’s Trial
    7. [Louisa May Alcott]—A Modern Cinderella; or, The Little Old Shoe
    8. L. M. Alcott—Tilly’s Christmas
    9. Cousin Tribulation [Louisa May Alcott]—Merry’s Monthly Chat



    1. From the Nation
    2. From the Albany Evening Journal
    3. From the Youth’s Companion
    4. From the American Literary Gazette and Publisher’s Circular
    5. From Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine
    6. From the Lady’s Friend
    7. From the Ladies’ Repository
    8. From Godey’s Lady’s Book
    9. From the Galaxy
    10. From the Spectator
    11. From the Commonwealth
    12. From the National Anti-Slavery Standard
    13. From the Nation
    14. From the Hartford Courant
    15. From Catholic World
    16. From Putnam’s Magazine
    17. From the Galaxy
    18. From the Ladies’ Repository
    19. From Harper’s New Monthly Magazine
    20. From the London Graphic


    1. Elizabeth Vincent—Subversive Miss Alcott
    2. Anne Dalke—“The House-Band”: The Education of Men in Little Women
    3. Angela M. Estes and Kathleen Margaret Lant—Dismembering the Text: The Horror of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women
    4. Catharine R. Stimpson—Reading for Love: Canon, Paracanons, and Whistling Jo March
    5. Elizabeth Keyser—Portrait(s) of the Artist: Little Women
    6. Richard H. Brodhead—Starting out in the 1860s: Alcott, Authorship, and the Postbellum Literary Field
    7. Barbara Sicherman—Reading Little Women: The Many Lives of a Text

    Louisa May Alcott: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliograph