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  • Published: 21 November 2023
  • ISBN: 9781912559435
  • Imprint: Notting Hill Editions
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 168
  • RRP: $49.99

A Strange Life: Selected Essays of Louisa May Alcott



Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) is, of course, best known as the author of Little Women (1868). But she was also a noted essayist who wrote on a wide range of subjects, including her father’s failed utopian commune, the benefits of an unmarried life, and her experience as a young woman sent to work in service to alleviate her family’s poverty. Her first literary success was a contemporary close-up account of the American Civil War, brilliantly depicted in Hospital Sketches, which was drawn from her own experience of serving as an army nurse near the nation’s capital. As with her famous novel, Alcott writes these essays with clear observation, unforgettable scenes, and one of the sharpest wits in American literature.

Blending gentle satire with reportage and emotive autobiography, Alcott’s exquisite essays are as exceptional as the novels she is known for. Published together for the first time, this delightful selection shows us another side to one of our most celebrated writers.

Collected together for the very first time, witty and wide-ranging essays from the celebrated author of Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) is, of course, best known as the author of Little Women (1868). But she was also a noted essayist who wrote on a wide range of subjects, including her father’s failed utopian commune, the benefits of an unmarried life, and her experience as a young woman sent to work in service to alleviate her family’s poverty. Her first literary success was a contemporary close-up account of the American Civil War, brilliantly depicted in Hospital Sketches, which was drawn from her own experience of serving as an army nurse near the nation’s capital. As with her famous novel, Alcott writes these essays with clear observation, unforgettable scenes, and one of the sharpest wits in American literature.

Blending gentle satire with reportage and emotive autobiography, Alcott’s exquisite essays are as exceptional as the novels she is known for. Published together for the first time, this delightful selection shows us another side to one of our most celebrated writers.

  • Published: 21 November 2023
  • ISBN: 9781912559435
  • Imprint: Notting Hill Editions
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 168
  • RRP: $49.99

About the author

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania. Her father was friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Alcott started selling stories in order to help provide financial support for her family. Her first book was Flower Fables (1854). She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War and in 1863 she published Hospital Sketches, which was based on her experiences. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa May Alcott was an abolitionist and a campaigner for women's rights. She died on 6 March 1888.

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