Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books over several months at the request of her publisher.Following the lives of the four March sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy-the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Scholars classify Little Women as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel.Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, with readers demanding to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (titled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name originated from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 as a single novel titled Little Women.Alcott wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from contemporary writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity."
Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. She is best known for Little Women (1968), which is loosely based on her own life and proved to be one of the most popular children's books ever written. Three sequels followed: Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871), and Jo's Boys (1886). Alcott was the daughter of the famous transcendentalist Bronson Alcott and was friend of Emerson and Thoreau. In addition to writing, she worked as a teacher, governess, and Civil War nurse, as well as being an advocate of abolition, women's rights, and temperance. She died in 1888 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.