> Skip to content
  • Published: 27 March 1998
  • ISBN: 9780140436662
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

The Inheritance



Her recently discovered first novel, The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just 17, offers readers a fascinating look at the birth of a remarkable career.

The Inheritance, set in an English country manor, is the story of Edith Adelon, an Italian orphan brought to England by Lord Hamilton as a companion for his children. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, Alcott's plot sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor -- and with the help of a secret inheritance, allows virtue to prevail.In their Introduction, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy relate their fortuitous discovery of Alcott's manuscript draft of The Inheritance (preserved at the Houghton Library of Harvard). They explore the forces -- both literary and personal -- that shaped the novel, and study how it foreshadowed Alcott's later work.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Published: 27 March 1998
  • ISBN: 9780140436662
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $26.99

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.

Also by Louisa May Alcott

See all

Related titles