9780553212754

Little Women

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553212754

  • ISBN10:

    0553212753

  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 1983-04-01
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married at the end of Part I. Part II, chronicles Meg's joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo's struggle to become a writer, Beth's tragedy, and Amy's artistic pursuits and unexpected romance. Based on Louise May Alcott's childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth-century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers. From the Paperback edition.

Author Biography

Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 in Pennsylvania and grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. She is best known for her books for children. The daughter of philosopher and reformer Amons Bronson Alcott, she was also a supporter of women's rights and an abolitionist. Family debts led her to write the autobiographical novel <b>Little Women</b> (1868). The book was a huge success, followed by <b>Little Men, An Old-Fashioned Girl</b>, and several other novels.<br><br><br><i>From the Trade Paperback edition.</i>

Table of Contents

Preface vii
PART I
Playing Pilgrims
3(10)
A Merry Christmas
13(10)
The Laurence Boy
23(10)
Burdens
33(11)
Being Neighborly
44(11)
Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful
55(7)
Amy's Valley of Humiliation
62(7)
Jo Meets Apollyon
69(10)
Meg Goes to Vanity Fair
79(15)
The P. C. and P. O.
94(8)
Experiments
102(10)
Camp Laurence
112(18)
Castles in the Air
130(9)
Secrets
139(9)
A Telegram
148(8)
Letters
156(8)
Little Faithful
164(7)
Dark Days
171(8)
Amy's Will
179(8)
Confidential
187(6)
Laurie Makes Mischief, and Jo Makes Peace
193(11)
Pleasant Meadows
204(7)
Aunt March Settle the Question
211(12)
PART II
Gossip
223(11)
The First Wedding
234(6)
Artistic Attempts
240(10)
Literary Lessons
250(7)
Domestic Experiences
257(13)
Calls
270(12)
Consequences
282(11)
Our Foreign Correspondent
293(9)
Tender Troubles
302(11)
Jo's Journal
313(11)
A Friend
324(14)
Heartache
338(10)
Beth's Secret
348(5)
New Impressions
353(10)
On the Shelf
363(11)
Lazy Laurence
374(13)
The Valley of the Shadow
387(6)
Learning to Forget
393(11)
All Alone
404(7)
Surprise
411(15)
My Lord and Lady
426(5)
Daisy and Demi
431(6)
Under the Umbrella
437(13)
Harvest Time
450(11)
Afterword by Nina Auerbach 461(10)
Bibliography 471

Excerpts

Playing Pilgrims


"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,"grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

"It's so dreadful to be poor!"sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have lots of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

"We've got father and mother, and each other, anyhow,"said Beth, contentedly, from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly?

"We haven't got father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never,"but each silently added it, thinking of father far away, where the fighting was.

Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas, was because it's going to be a hard winter for every one; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't;"and Megshook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself; I've wanted it so long,'said Jo, who was a bookworm.

"I planned to spend mine in new music,"said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth-brush and kettle-holder.

"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils; I really need them," said Amy, decidedly.

"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I'm sure we grub hard enough to earn it,"cried Jo, examining the heels of her
boots in a gentlemanly manner.

"I know I do, teaching those dreadful children nearly all day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the complaining tone again.

"You don't have half such a hard time as I do," said Jo. "How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you''e ready to fly out of the window or box her ears?"

"It's naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross; and my hands get so stiff, I can't practise good a bit." And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that any one could hear that time.

"I don't believe any of you suffer as I do," cried Amy; "for you don't have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don't know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn't rich, and insult you when your nose isn't nice."

"If you mean libel I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if pa was a pickle-bottle," advised Jo, laughing.

Excerpted from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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