Little Women: 150th-anniversary Annotated Edition (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Louisa May AlcottLittle Women: 150th-anniversary Annotated Edition (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Louisa May Alcottsticker-burst

Little Women: 150th-anniversary Annotated Edition (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

byLouisa May AlcottForeword byPatti SmithEditorAnne Boyd Rioux

Paperback | April 24, 2012

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A beautiful new Deluxe Edition of Alcott's beloved novel, with a foreword by National Book Award-winning author and musician Patti Smith. Nominated as one of America’s most-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Little Women is recognized as one of the best-loved classic children's stories, transcending the boundaries of time and age, making it as popular with adults as it is with young readers. The beloved story of the March girls is a classic American feminist novel, reflecting the tension between cultural obligation and artistic and personal freedom. But which of the four March sisters to love best? For every reader must have their favorite. Independent, tomboyish Jo; delicate, loving Beth; pretty, kind Meg; or precocious and artistic Amy, the baby of the family? The charming story of these four "little women" and their wise and patient mother Marmee enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England was an instant success when first published in 1868 and has been adored for generations.

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.
Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1832, the second of four daughters of Abigail May Alcott and Bronson Alcott, the prominent Transcendentalist thinker and social reformer. Raised in Concord, Massachusetts, and educated by her father, Alcott early on came under the influence of the great men of his circle: Emers...
Title:Little Women: 150th-anniversary Annotated Edition (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)Format:PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 8.4 × 5.6 × 1.5 inPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143106651

ISBN - 13:9780143106654

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic! This story is a classic that everyone should read once in their lives! It is full of great characters, a moving storyline and relatable situations! even though is close to 200 years old, it is still a wonderful story!
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic One of the better classical novels, especially for women.
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic! This story is a classic that everyone should read once in their lives! It is full of great characters, a moving storyline and relatable situations! even though is close to 200 years old, it is still a wonderful story!
Date published: 2018-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic novel! Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is a true classic. I read this novel when I was a child and have read it again as an adult, only to appreciate it even more. Every young girl should read this novel at least once in her lifetime. #PlumRewards
Date published: 2018-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A classic It's a bit of a long read, but I truly believe it's a classic. Although it's set in the late 1800s, there are some many aspects of the story that I found that I could relate to from the modern day. The emotions and dynamics that Alcott describes are touching and absolutely timeless.
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I don't understand the love.... ** SPOILERS BELOW ** The reason I didn't rate it lower is because it had, especially towards the end, a lot of redeeming qualities. I admit I became more interested in the characters than I was initially; if I had continued to care as little about them, I wouldn't have been able to finish the book at all. I learned a lot of important values that still hold water in today's modern society, such as: to remain kind and compassionate, to avoid being materialistic, and to value heart, intelligence, and hard work over wealth and appearances. (Granted, these are values with which I am already familiar, but they were made abundantly -- ABUNDANTLY -- clearer in this book. It was also difficult to hate a story that promoted such virtues as these). Jo and Laurie ended up being the most likable characters, in my opinion. I also quite liked Mrs. March, who was an unfailing source of wisdom and support. I felt like I would enjoy a therapeutic coffee session with her. Furthermore, the sacrifices made and the hardships that the family faced really made me feel for them. They exhibited their strength and courage when dealing with loss. I was happy to see each character emerge victorious because it proved that they were deserving of compassion, and they were often changed for the better. In the case of Jo, for example, the loss of Beth made her realize the importance of family and modesty. Combined with the months of work she dedicated to Mrs. Kirke in New York, she grew up to be a mature, independent young woman with less of a fiery temper and more of a contented outlook. It's definitely a coming-of-age story filled with wisdom. It's a warm tale of family and virtue and how to avoid temptations and corruption in this world. I can appreciate that; I would recommend it to people who have a particular interest in children's literature (especially since an adult can glean more from some of the mature themes), or those who enjoy hearty, family-oriented tales of pioneer life in America. Unfortunately, I couldn't rate the story any higher and this is why: - Some of the characters were so perfect that, as one Amazon-reviewer put it, they seemed too "sugary-sweet." This made the story too fictional for fiction. It would have been nice to see them possess some kind of human flaw. (Whichever flaws did exist were overshadowed by an overwhelming desire to please / do good. It was like reading about a family of golden retrievers). - This phrase at the end of Chapter 38: "Meg learned that a woman's happiest kingdom is her home, her highest honor the art of ruling it -- not as a queen, but a wise wife and mother." I feel like this was one of the main points of the story, and while I can't criticize it because of the archaic views of the time, it just doesn't sit right today. Women are no longer expected to remain in the domestic sphere while the husbands work for money. It didn't irk me so much when Meg thought this, because she was clearly thriving in her environment and completely dedicated to her husband; but by the end of the book, every girl was married to a strong man and bearing children. It became the moral of the story -- if you're a woman, you'll be happiest doting upon your man and your kids. Don't be too ambitious. Again, I understand that 1868 was a very different time; but Jo's modern attitude gave me hope for the author's open-minded intentions, and Louisa May Alcott's reputation as a suffragette preceded her. I thought that, while it was nice to see the other girls happily married, it would also be nice to see a little bit of variety. Jo would break the mold, and her resolve to stay single and independent was not an unhappy prospect in any way. I was a little disappointed when she fell in love with Professor Bhaer. It seemed completely unlike her. And while I admit that she changed immensely throughout the course of the novel, I felt betrayed by her sudden conversion into a homely wife and mother. In real life, of course, a woman can do whatever she wants -- I have no qualms against work-life or home-life, or flip-flopping in between. But this change in outlook seemed unnatural to Jo's character and I'm not very satisfied with the turn of events. - Amy's character bothered me immensely. Because I found her so unlikable, her annoying characteristics were too hard to forgive. I know she meant well, but she seemed such a spoilt girl that I immediately lost interest in the plot whenever her name was mentioned. The author did her best to present her in a good light, but, alas, I could not be converted. Amy, in my opinion, was vain and materialistic. Granted, she had many good qualities, I know -- I just couldn't like her. - It was too instructive. At the beginning of Chapter 43, for example, the narrator (a stand-in for Alcott, herself, I'm assuming) interrupts for a couple pages, in order to address the reader and advise him/her against shunning and teasing spinsters. This is just one example of the preachy style of writing. I felt like I was being talked AT for the entire 520 pages, and I didn't appreciate it. Some of the events did nothing to further the plot and had no importance except to teach the reader what he/she should/shouldn't do. There was an entire chapter on Amy's involvement with a fair, just to show how one must conduct oneself when confronted with animosity between acquaintances. While it may have shown how Amy's character has matured, the fair was never mentioned again after that chapter, and her maturity could have been exhibited through a different event that was actually central to the plot. I understand that a book such as this one, which was meant to biographically narrate the life of the Marches, doesn't necessarily have to follow the same "conflict > climax > resolution" format as many others. But this style didn't suit me, and I feel like it could have been significantly cut down --- like, perhaps, one of Jo's books --- if random occurrences weren't introduced and resolved every chapter, just so Alcott could tell me how to behave like a proper lady. - If I was told not to be idle ONE. MORE. TIME.... I would not be accountable for my actions. Having said all this, I admit that the most pressing reason for my low rating is because of what happened between Laurie and Jo. If Jo was going to marry anybody, I expected it to be Laurie. I was 100% invested in this match. For Jo to give up her independence for someone like him -- that would make sense to me. Laurie was vivacious, adventurous, artistic, comical, distinguished... and what's more is he understood her. She's not easy to manage, even in her older age, but Laurie was someone that would return again and again to her with the will to fight and make up. They would've made a fine pair. I agree that they would bicker frequently -- but doesn't every married couple? Isn't it unrealistic to expect a marriage without heated arguments? Overall I was disappointed -- it was good, but not great, and it won't be one of my favourite classics.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly captivating Read this as an adult, only because it's a classic. This is not in my usual genre, but really enjoyed it. Found myself rooting for the characters and relating to them even though theysetting is in the past
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another must have! I read this book over and over as a young girl, and if I would have time now, I would still read it! A really great book.
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant This book is perfect for any little woman who craves relatable characters and scenarios wrapped in a lovely writing style
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing This classic story is a must-read for every girl in her life and captures the feelings of sisterhood perfectly in a unique and heart-warming tale
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! Loved the movie as a child and decided to pick the book up. Loved it so much and loved this beautiful edition.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A childhood classic. Alcott writes a wonderful coming of age story and told little girls from countless generations to follow their dreams and be true to themselves.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jane Eyre for kids This is basically Jane Eyre for kids. It's a wonderful book.
Date published: 2017-01-09

Read from the Book

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 herboots 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.

Editorial Reviews

"Perhaps no other book provided a greater guide, as I set out on my youthful path, than Louisa May Alcott’s most beloved novel, Little Women." —From the Foreword by Patti Smith"I have always gravitated towards the cozy book, and nothing is cozier than Little Women. It was one of the books that fostered my love of America, very early on, and showed me what makes a great character, particularly in headstrong Jo."—Jane Green