Although the publication of Little Women in 1868 earned Louisa May Alcott tremendous popularity, for a long time she was thought of as a writer of children's stories and considered--at best--a minor figure in the American literary canon. Now, at the end of the twentieth century, Alcott's vast body of work is being celebrated alongside the greatest American writers, and this collection shows why.
The Portable Louisa May Alcott samples the entire spectrum of Alcott's work: her novels, novellas, children's stories, sensationalist fiction, gothic tales, essays, letters, and journals. Presenting her more daring works, such as Moods and Behind a Mask (both reprinted in their entirety), alongside the familiar heroines of Little Women, this singular collection offers readers a rich and wide-ranging portrait of this talented, prolific, and influential writer.
Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Concord and Boston, Massachusetts. The precocious second of four daughters born to Utopian philosopher Bronson Alcott, she started supporting the family through her writing as a teenager.
Elizabeth Lennox Keyser is a professor of English at Hollins University and editor of the journal Children's Literature. Her book Whispers in the Dark: The Fiction of Louisa May Alcott won the 1993 Children's Literature Association Book Award.