The Inheritance

Paperback | February 1, 1998

byLouisa May AlcottIntroduction byJoel Myerson, Daniel Shealy

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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.

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From Our Editors

Influenced by the melodrama of the contemporary theater and the popular gothic novels of the time, Louisa May Alcott weaves a tale far removed from the reality of her everyday life in Boston. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, "The Inheritance" sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor--and with the help of a...

From the Publisher

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 ...

Louisa May Alcott was born in Pennsylvania, in 1832, the second of four daughters. After a period of serving as an army nurse, she published Hospital Sketches in 1863, followed by Gothic Romances and lurid thrillers. In 1868-9, she published Little Women, which proved so popular that it was followed by two sequels and several other nov...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.6 inPublished:February 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140436669

ISBN - 13:9780140436662

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Customer Reviews of The Inheritance

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from History in the making... A charming first novel handwritten by Louisa May Alcott in 1849 when only seventeen and discovered via the card catalogue of Houghton Library at Harvard University summer 1988 while researching a project to complete the narration of her life. A wonderful discovery and worthy of reading just for the insight into a life of historical import. As Ms Alcott had penned, " I want to do something splendid... something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead... I think I shall write books." Here is her first...
Date published: 2013-05-19

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From Our Editors

Influenced by the melodrama of the contemporary theater and the popular gothic novels of the time, Louisa May Alcott weaves a tale far removed from the reality of her everyday life in Boston. With a charm reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels, "The Inheritance" sets love and courtesy against depravity and dishonor--and with the help of a secret inheritance, allows virtue to prevail.